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NEW YORK/BERLIN (Reuters) - Lufthansa ( LHAG.DE ) subsidiary Germanwings could face liabilities well above the typical ceiling in airline crashes for the passengers who died on Tuesday when one of its jets was flown into an Alpine mountain, some aviation lawyers said. A lot will depend on whether the airline can defend itself against negligence claims given that prosecutors said on Thursday that a young German co-pilot locked himself alone in the cockpit of the Airbus A320 and set it on course to crash, killing all 144 passengers and six crew members. An international agreement generally limits airline liability to around $157,400 for each passenger who dies in a crash if families do not sue, but if families want to pursue compensation for greater damages, they can file lawsuits.
PARIS/SEYNE-LES-ALPES (Reuters) - A young German co-pilot barricaded himself alone in the cockpit of Germanwings flight 9525 and apparently set it on course to crash into an Alpine mountain, killing all 150 people on board including himself, French prosecutors said on Thursday. They offered no motive for why Andreas Lubitz, 27, would take the controls of the Airbus A320, lock the captain out of the cockpit and deliberately set it veering down from cruising altitude at 3,000 feet per minute
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In the wake of the Ebola crisis, a quiet revolution is taking place that is set to transform the way governments and aid agencies respond to major disease outbreaks. Analysts are developing insurance schemes that could turn the humanitarian system on its head, by paying out money as soon as a disease breaks out to stop it becoming an international crisis, rather than trying to raise funds after the event. The World Bank, the African Union, a consortium of aid agencies and experts in the private sector are starting to do the sums and figure out what such schemes could look like
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi special forces advanced on central Tikrit on Thursday as U.S.-led coalition planes joined the largest offensive yet against Islamic State militants holding out in Saddam Hussein's home city. Coalition jets launched their first air strikes against Islamic State targets in Tikrit on Wednesday, coming off the sidelines to aid Iraqi forces against the Sunni Islamist militants. Underlying the complex web of loyalties behind the conflict, a senior U.S
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents in an unnamed country had alleged "sex parties" with prostitutes funded by local drug cartels over several years, according to a report published on Thursday by the Justice Department's internal watchdog. The 10 agents - an assistant regional director and nine special agents - had the alleged parties "at government-leased headquarters," and three of the special agents "were provided money, expensive gifts, and weapons from drug cartel members," according to the report
BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S.-led coalition aircraft launched strikes against Islamic State targets in Tikrit on Wednesday, officials said, coming off the sidelines to support Iraqi forces battling alongside Iran-backed Shi'ite militia as they resumed their stalled offensive. The decision to give air support to the Tikrit campaign represents the biggest collaboration so far by the U.S.-led coalition, Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed paramilitaries and opens a new chapter in the war. It also appeared to represent at least a tacit acknowledgement by Baghdad that such airpower was necessary to wrest control of the hometown of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from Islamic State fighters, after its attempts to go it alone stalled.
SEYNE-LES-ALPES/PARIS (Reuters) - Investigators have retrieved cockpit voice recordings from one of the black boxes of the German Airbus plane that smashed into the Alps, killing everyone onboard, and they expect a preliminary read-out of their content in days, an official said on Wednesday. The development came as French President Francois Hollande, Germany's Angela Merkel and Spain's Mariano Rajoy travelled to the crash site in a remote French Alpine region to pay tribute to the 150 victims, mostly Germany and Spanish. However, while Hollande promised that authorities would not rest until the causes of the crash were known, France's BEA air incident investigation bureau said it was still far too early to draw meaningful conclusions on why the plane, operated by the Germanwings budget arm of Lufthansa ( LHAG.DE ), went down.
SEYNE-LES-ALPES, France (Reuters) - An Airbus operated by Lufthansa's Germanwings budget airline crashed in a remote area of the French Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 people on board including 16 schoolchildren. Germanwings confirmed its flight 4U 9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf went down with 144 passengers and six crew on board.
LONDON (Reuters) - The alternatives to striking a nuclear deal with Iran are not attractive, British Prime Minister David Cameron warned on Monday, while saying a pact with Tehran should not be reached at any price. "Obviously we should not do a deal at any price, but I do think the alternatives to doing a deal are not alternatives that are attractive and frankly they are not attractive for Iran," Cameron told the British parliament. "The sanctions that we have put in place ...
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog has had limited progress in its inquiry into possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program, although Iran has cooperated with the agency in implementing an interim deal reached with world powers, the agency's chief said on Monday. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is investigating allegations of explosives tests and other activity by Iran that could be used to develop nuclear bombs
KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan's intelligence agency said on Saturday it had foiled an attempt to assassinate Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum in the northerly Jawzjan province. The assassination was to have been carried out by a suicide bomber who had hidden a bomb on the back of his horse as he attended a game of buzkashi, a national sport
LONDON (Reuters) - Iran's top leader voiced mistrust on Saturday of U.S. efforts to reach a nuclear deal, even as Washington spoke of "genuine progress" towards an outline accord. With just 10 days remaining until an end-of-March deadline, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denounced U.S.
SEOUL (Reuters) - The foreign ministers of South Korea, Japan and China meet on Saturday for the first time in three years, to try and improve frosty ties and restore a regular three-way summit of their leaders, stalled because of tension over history and territory. The three officials also held bilateral meetings in which they agreed to cooperate in response to North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes. Arriving for a meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, China's Wang Yi said he would discuss all the issues of interest to Beijing, signalling the subjects of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the THAAD missile defense system were not off the table.
NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - One person was shot at a New Orleans airport on Friday night, the local sheriff's office said, while two people, at least one them a Transportation Security Administration agent, suffered what appeared to be non-life threatening stab wounds, an eyewitness told Reuters. Four shots were fired around 8 p.m. in Concourse B of the airport, said Brent Long, a resident of Austin, Texas, who was there with his family while waiting for a connecting flight.
NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - At least one person was shot at a New Orleans airport on Friday night, the local sheriff's office told Reuters. No further information was available about the victim at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Louisiana, said Colonel John Fortunato, spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied on Thursday abandoning his commitment to the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, backing away from pre-election comments that deepened a rift with Israel's chief ally the United States. But the White House, unmoved by Netanyahu’s post-election effort to backtrack, delivered a fresh rebuke against the Israeli leader and signalled that Washington may reconsider its decades-old policy of shielding Israel from international pressure at the United Nations.
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia said it would deploy the army to major cities and arrested nine people on Thursday after 20 foreign tourists were shot dead in an attack on a museum which Islamic State militants called "the first drop of the rain". Japanese, Italian, Spanish and British visitors, as well as three Tunisians, were among the victims of the attack, which took place in the heavily guarded parliament compound of a country largely spared the violent aftermath of the Arab Spring
TUNIS (Reuters) - Gunmen in military uniforms stormed Tunisia's national museum, killing 17 foreign tourists and two Tunisians on Wednesday in one of the worst militant attacks in a country that has largely escaped the region's "Arab Spring" turmoil. Visitors from Italy, Germany, Poland and Spain were among the dead in the noon assault on the Bardo museum near parliament in central Tunis, Prime Minister Habib Essid said
PORT VILA (Reuters) - International aid agencies ramped up appeals for cyclone-hit Vanuatu on Wednesday, warning that the powerful storm which affected more than two-thirds of the South Pacific island nation had wiped out crops and destroyed fishing fleets, raising the risk of hunger and disease. Residents of the southern island of Tanna said food and basic supplies were running low while relief workers were still battling to reach many islands pummelled by Cyclone Pam's gusts of more than 300 kph (185 mph) on Friday and Saturday. The United Nations said the official death toll was 11, but many officials anticipate that number will rise once they are able to more thoroughly inspect the outer islands of the scattered archipelago
TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's main challenger, Zionist Union chief Isaac Herzog, disputed Netanyahu's victory claim in Israel's election on Tuesday, saying "everything is open".