Archive for ‘pilot’

11/03/2019

Xi joins deliberation with Fujian deputies at annual legislative session

  • (TWO SESSIONS)CHINA-BEIJING-XI JINPING-NPC-DELIBERATION (CN)

    Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, joins deliberation with deputies from Fujian Province at the second session of the 13th National People’s Congress in Beijing, capital of China, March 10, 2019. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

    BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) — President Xi Jinping on Sunday afternoon joined deliberation with deputies from Fujian Province at the second session of the 13th National People’s Congress, China’s national legislature.

    “[We] should create a favorable development environment for innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity,” said Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

    China should seek momentum from reform and opening up, unleash to the maximum the whole society’s power for innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity, and keep improving the country’s influence and competitiveness in a world that is undergoing profound changes, Xi said.

    Xi stressed creating favorable conditions for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises and young people, and establishing an acceleration mechanism for high-tech companies.

    He urged solid implementation of the policies and measures to encourage, guide and support the development of the private sector.

    Fujian must leverage the combined strengths of the special economic zone, pilot free trade zone, comprehensive experimental zone and the core zone of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and keep exploring new approaches, Xi said.

    Xi called for efforts to explore new ways for integrated development across the Taiwan Strait.

    The two sides of the Taiwan Strait should enhance economic and trade cooperation, infrastructure connectivity, energy and resource exchanges, and shared industry standards, he said.

    Cross-Strait cooperation and cultural exchanges should be strengthened, he added.

    Xi stressed the importance of implementing the people-centered development concept in the work on Taiwan, urging efforts to benefit Taiwan compatriots in the same way as people on the mainland are served.

    He encouraged listening to the voice of Taiwan compatriots and research on what other policies and measures can be introduced to bring them benefits.

    Xi said that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of New China, and it is necessary to ensure that no one in the country’s old revolutionary base areas falls behind in the process of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

    He called for adherence to targeted poverty alleviation and efforts to identify the root causes of poverty to enhance the effectiveness of anti-poverty measures.

    More efforts should be put into coordinating economic development with ecological protection, Xi said.

    Source: Xinhua

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10/03/2019

India and Pakistan: How the war was fought in TV studios

An Indian man watches live news channels broadcasting images of Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander pilot Abhinandan Varthaman returning to India from the India-Pakistan Wagah border in New Delhi on March 1, 2019.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionAn Indian man watches the news broadcasting images of the released Indian pilot

As tensions between India and Pakistan escalated following a deadly suicide attack last month, there was another battle being played out on the airwaves. Television stations in both countries were accused of sensationalism and partiality. But how far did they take it? The BBC’s Rajini Vaidyanathan in Delhi and Secunder Kermani in Islamabad take a look.

It was drama that was almost made for television.

The relationship between India and Pakistan – tense at the best of times – came to a head on 26 February when India announced it had launched airstrikes on militant camps in Pakistan’s Balakot region as “retaliation” for a suicide attack that had killed 40 troops in Indian-administered Kashmir almost two weeks earlier.

A day later, on 27 February, Pakistan shot down an Indian jet fighter and captured its pilot.

Abhinandan Varthaman was freed as a “peace gesture”, and Pakistan PM Imran Khan warned that neither country could afford a miscalculation, with a nuclear arsenal on each side.

Suddenly people were hooked, India’s TV journalists included.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he speaks during the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) "Sankalp" rally in Patna in the Indian eastern state of Bihar on March 3, 2019.Image copyrightAFP
Image captionIndian PM Narendra Modi is accused of exploiting India-Pakistan hostilities for political gain

So were they more patriots than journalists?

Rajini Vaidyanathan: Indian television networks showed no restraint when it came to their breathless coverage of the story. Rolling news was at fever pitch.

The coverage often fell into jingoism and nationalism, with headlines such as “Pakistan teaches India a lesson”, “Dastardly Pakistan”, and “Stay Calm and Back India” prominently displayed on screens.

Some reporters and commentators called for India to use missiles and strike back. One reporter in south India hosted an entire segment dressed in combat fatigues, holding a toy gun.

And while I was reporting on the return of the Indian pilot at the international border between the two countries in the northern city of Amritsar, I saw a woman getting an Indian flag painted on her cheek. “I’m a journalist too,” she said, as she smiled at me in slight embarrassment.

Print journalist Salil Tripathi wrote a scathing critique of the way reporters in both India and Pakistan covered the events, arguing they had lost all sense of impartiality and perspective. “Not one of the fulminating television-news anchors exhibited the criticality demanded of their profession,” she said.

Media captionIndia and Pakistan’s ‘war-mongering’ media

Secunder Kermani: Shortly after shooting down at least one Indian plane last week, the Pakistani military held a press conference.

As it ended, the journalists there began chanting “Pakistan Zindabad” (Long Live Pakistan). It wasn’t the only example of “journalistic patriotism” during the recent crisis.

Two anchors from private channel 92 News donned military uniforms as they presented the news – though other Pakistani journalists criticised their decision.

But on the whole, while Indian TV presenters angrily demanded military action, journalists in Pakistan were more restrained, with many mocking what they called the “war mongering and hysteria” across the border.

In response to Indian media reports about farmers refusing to export tomatoes to Pakistan anymore for instance, one popular presenter tweeted about a “Tomatical strike” – a reference to Indian claims they carried out a “surgical strike” in 2016 during another period of conflict between the countries.

Media analyst Adnan Rehmat noted that while the Pakistani media did play a “peace monger as opposed to a warmonger” role, in doing so, it was following the lead of Pakistani officials who warned against the risks of escalation, which “served as a cue for the media.”

What were they reporting?

Rajini Vaidyanathan: As TV networks furiously broadcast bulletins from makeshift “war rooms” complete with virtual reality missiles, questions were raised not just about the reporters but what they were reporting.

Indian channels were quick to swallow the government version of events, rather than question or challenge it, said Shailaja Bajpai, media editor at The Print. “The media has stopped asking any kind of legitimate questions, by and large,” she said. “There’s no pretence of objectiveness.”

In recent years in fact, a handful of commentators have complained about the lack of critical questioning in the Indian media.

Indians celebrated on hearing news of the strikesImage copyrightAFP
Image captionIndians celebrated news of the strikes

“For some in the Indian press corps the very thought of challenging the ‘official version’ of events is the equivalent of being anti-national”, said Ms Bajpai. “We know there have been intelligence lapses but nobody is questioning that.”

Senior defence and science reporter Pallava Bagla agreed. “The first casualty in a war is always factual information. Sometimes nationalistic fervour can make facts fade away,” he said.

This critique isn’t unique to India, or even this period in time. During the 2003 Iraq war, western journalists embedded with their country’s militaries were also, on many occasions, simply reporting the official narrative.

Secunder Kermani: In Pakistan, both media and public reacted with scepticism to Indian claims about the damage caused by the airstrikes in Balakot, which India claimed killed a large number of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants in a training camp.

Hamid Mir, one of the most influential TV anchors in the country travelled to the area and proclaimed, “We haven’t seen any such (militant) infrastructure… we haven’t seen any bodies, any funerals.”

“Actually,” he paused, “We have found one body… this crow.” The camera panned down to a dead crow, while Mr Mir asked viewers if the crow “looks like a terrorist or not?”

There seems to be no evidence to substantiate Indian claims that a militant training camp was hit, but other journalists working for international outlets, including the BBC, found evidence of a madrassa, linked to JeM, near the site.

A cropped version of a satellite image shows a close-up of a madrasa near Balakot, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan, March 4, 2019. Picture taken March 4, 2019.Image copyrightPLANET LABS INC./HANDOUT VIA REUTERS
Image captionThe satellite image shows a close-up of a madrassa near Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Paktunkhwa

A photo of a signpost giving directions to the madrassa even surfaced on social media. It described the madrassa as being “under the supervision of Masood Azhar”. Mr Azhar is the founder of JeM.

The signpost’s existence was confirmed by a BBC reporter and Al Jazeera, though by the time Reuters visited it had apparently been removed. Despite this, the madrassa and its links received little to no coverage in the Pakistani press.

Media analyst Adnan Rehmat told the BBC that “there was no emphasis on investigating independently or thoroughly enough” the status of the madrassa.

In Pakistan, reporting on alleged links between the intelligence services and militant groups is often seen as a “red line”. Journalists fear for their physical safety, whilst editors know their newspapers or TV channels could face severe pressure if they publish anything that could be construed as “anti-state”.

Who did it better: Khan or Modi?

Rajini Vaidyanathan: With a general election due in a few months, PM Narendra Modi continued with his campaign schedule, mentioning the crisis in some of his stump speeches. But he never directly addressed the ongoing tensions through an address to the nation or a press conference.

This was not a surprise. Mr Modi rarely holds news conference or gives interviews to the media. When news of the suicide attack broke, Mr Modi was criticised for continuing with a photo shoot.

Imran KhanImage copyrightAFP
Image captionImran Khan was praised for his measured approach

The leader of the main opposition Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, dubbed him a “Prime Time Minister” claiming the PM had carried on filming for three hours. PM Modi has also been accused of managing his military response as a way to court votes.

At a campaign rally in his home state of Gujarat he seemed unflustered by his critics, quipping “they’re busy with strikes on Modi, and Modi is launching strikes on terror.”

Secunder Kermani: Imran Khan won praise even from many of his critics in Pakistan, for his measured approach to the conflict. In two appearances on state TV, and one in parliament, he appeared firm, but also called for dialogue with India.

His stance helped set the comparatively more measured tone for Pakistani media coverage.

Officials in Islamabad, buoyed by Mr Khan’s decision to release the captured Indian pilot, have portrayed themselves as the more responsible side, which made overtures for peace.

On Twitter, a hashtag calling for Mr Khan to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize was trending for a while. But his lack of specific references to JeM, mean internationally there is likely to be scepticism, at least initially, about his claims that Pakistan will no longer tolerate militant groups targeting India.

Source: The BBC

23/02/2019

China Airlines pilot punished after he’s filmed sleeping in cockpit

  • Middle-aged man seen taking a nap mid-flight said to be senior pilot with the Taiwanese carrier
  • His co-pilot who took the video has also been reprimanded

China Airlines pilot punished after he’s filmed sleeping in cockpit

23 Feb 2019

The video shows the pilot in the cockpit with his head down and eyes closed. Photo: setn.com
The video shows the pilot in the cockpit with his head down and eyes closed. Photo: setn.com

China Airlines, Taiwan’s biggest carrier, says it has punished a pilot after a video of him taking a nap in the cockpit mid-flight was posted online.

His co-pilot, who filmed the incident, has also been reprimanded, local television station SETN reported.

In the video, a middle-aged man in a pilot uniform and headphones appears to be asleep with his head down and eyes closed while in the cockpit of a Boeing 747.

The footage drew attention after it was shown in a report on Taiwanese TV network EBC on Wednesday. The man was identified as Weng Jiaqi, a senior pilot with almost 20 years of experience who was promoted to chief pilot last year.

Chinese airline Donghai suspends and fines pilot for allowing wife in cockpit

It was unclear when or on which flight the video was filmed, but the airline confirmed that Weng had reported his behaviour and been punished while his co-pilot had been reprimanded for “improper behaviour”, SETN reported.

Weng, who also supervises training, is a short-haul pilot to cities including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Tokyo, Okinawa and Seoul, according to the EBC report.

The China Airlines pilots went on strike on February 8, during the Lunar New Year holiday season. Photo: EPA-EFE
The China Airlines pilots went on strike on February 8, during the Lunar New Year holiday season. Photo: EPA-EFE
The incident comes after the airline last week reached a deal with the pilots’ union to

end a seven-day strike

over working conditions and benefits that forced the cancellation of more than 200 flights.

But China Airlines told EBC that the video was filmed before the pilots walked off the job.

The Taoyuan Union of Pilots began the industrial action on February 8, stranding close to 50,000 passengers and inflicting over NT$500 million (US$16.2 million) in losses on the carrier.

Under a deal signed on February 14, the union agreed not to strike again in the next 3½ years. In return, China Airlines agreed to the union’s main demand to increase the number of pilots on various flights to combat fatigue and improve safety.

Chinese pilots, cabin crew told no more smoking in cockpits on domestic flights

The carrier will roster three pilots on flights of more than eight hours – up from the present two – and will have four pilots on flights over 12 hours, up from three.

China Airlines president Hsieh Shih-chien said the staffing increases were expected to sharply add to the cost of the company’s operations, but the carrier agreed to the terms in the interest of safety.

Source: SCMP

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