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Large object found in search for missing Indonesia plane

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Indonesia Lion Air crash

Jakarta, Oct 31 (IANS) Indonesian search and rescue teams on Wednesday were tracking an area of the Java Sea where a Lion Air plane crashed earlier this week with 189 people on board and where a part of the plane is likely to have been found.

Didi Hamzar, director of preparedness with Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) said at a press conference that an object was found which was likely to be a large part of the cabin of the missing plane, Efe news reported.

Search operations continued with 100 divers spread over five zones at a depth of between 30 and 35 metres in waters near Cape Karawang.

Also, Indonesian investigators searching for the flight recorders of the crashed plane said that they heard transponder “pings” that could lead them to the devices, and answer questions as to why the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 went down.

Haryo Satmiko, Deputy Director of the National Transport Safety Committee, told CNN that while the pings had been detected, investigators needed more “technical efforts” to find the exact location of the black boxes.

Divers were being assisted on the surface by boats, devices and with remote-controlled submarines to locate the black boxes, Basarnas spokesperson Yusuf Latif said.

Authorities believe that several of the victims’ bodies were trapped inside the fuselage of the aircraft.

So far, Basarnas, military and police personnel have retrieved 49 body bags with human remains of at least a dozen people, said the Director of the National Police Hospital in Jakarta.

None of the victims were identified, even with DNA samples collected from the families, the official said.

The Lion Air flight JT 610 flown by Indian captain Bhavye Suneja disappeared from the radars on Monday morning, 13 minutes after it took off from Jakarta towards Pangkal Pinang on the Indonesian island of Bangka.

Before the plane began descending at high speed from about 3,000 feet, the pilot had requested permission to land but did not send a distress signal, officials said.

In a statement on Wednesday, Lion Air said it has fired its technical director. The airline gave no reason for the personnel change but said in a news release it was made at “the instruction and the decision of the (Indonesian) Transportation Ministry”.

Transport Minister Budi Karya earlier said that the paperwork of the Boeing 737 Max was in order and that it had cleared all relevant inspections.

However, he ordered the inspection of eight aircraft of the same model currently being operated by Lion Air, and one operated by Garuda Indonesia.

Founded in 1999, Lion Air is Indonesia’s largest low-cost airline and has had half a dozen non-fatal accidents and one fatal accident, which occurred in 2004 in the city of Solo, leaving 25 people dead.

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Azerbaijan says 2,783 soldiers killed in Nagorno-Karabakh fighting

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Nagorno Karabakh

Azerbaijan said Thursday that nearly 2,800 of its soldiers were killed in recent fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, the first details it has released of military losses in weeks of clashes with Armenian forces.

The defence ministry in Baku said in a statement that “2,783 servicemen of the Azerbaijani armed forces were killed in the patriotic war,” adding that 100 more soldiers were missing.

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Criminal networks could try to sell fake COVID vaccines physically and on internet, warns Interpol

The Interpol has asked police organisations to ensure “the safety of the supply chain” and said “identifying illicit websites selling fake products will be essential”.

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Vaccine

New Delhi, December 3: The Interpol has warned law enforcement agencies across the globe that organised criminal networks could try to advertise and sell fake COVID-19 vaccines physically and on the internet.

In an Orange notice issued to all 194 member countries on Wednesday, the Lyon-based international police cooperation body warned agencies to prepare for potential criminal activity in relation to “the falsification, theft and illegal advertising of COVID-19 and flu vaccines”.

“It also includes examples of crimes where individuals have been advertising, selling and administering fake vaccines,” a statement from the Interpol said.

The Interpol issues an Orange notice to warn of an event, a person, an object or a process representing a serious and imminent threat to public safety.

The CBI, which is the national central bureau for India, is tasked with coordination with the Interpol.

The warning came on the day the UK became the first Western nation to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, vaulting past the US and the European Union in the race to approve a vaccine.

The Interpol has asked police organisations to ensure “the safety of the supply chain” and said “identifying illicit websites selling fake products will be essential”.

“Criminal networks will also be targeting unsuspecting members of the public via fake websites and false cures, which could pose a significant risk to their health, even their lives,” Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock said in a statement.

“It is essential that law enforcement is as prepared as possible for what will be an onslaught of all types of criminal activity linked to the COVID-19 vaccine, which is why INTERPOL has issued this global warning,” the official said.

The Interpol cybercrime unit has analysed that of 3,000 websites associated with online pharmacies suspected of selling illicit medicines and medical devices, around 1,700 contained cyber threats, especially phishing and spamming malware making such operators even more potent of causing financial and health harms.

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Pakistan’s Covid-19 cases surpass 406k mark

Frontline healthcare workers and people over 65 years of age will be the first to get the vaccine administered, he added.

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pakistan coronavirus

Islamabad, Dec 3 : Pakistan’s overall coronavirus caseload has increased to 406,810 after an additional 3,499 people tested positive in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

In the same period, a total of 8,205 people died and 346,951 recovered from the disease in the country which is currently battling a serious second wave, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry as saying.

The two new figures increased the overall death toll and recoveries to 8,205 and 346,951, respectively.

Sindh province is currently the worst hit with 177,625 cases, followed by most populous province Punjab with 121,083 positive cases, the official figures revealed.

At a press briefing on Wednesday, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Health Faisal Sultan said that the government has approved to allocate a budget of $150 million to purchase vaccines.

Frontline healthcare workers and people over 65 years of age will be the first to get the vaccine administered, he added.

Meanwhile, Federal Parliamentary Secretary in the Health Ministry Nausheen Hamid said that the government will provide free of cost vaccine to its citizens and the vaccination will start in the second quarter of 2021.

The Pakistani government has also decided to observe “Covid-19 standard operating procedures compliance week” from Saturday for creating awareness in public about the significance of the SOPs in guarding against the disease.

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