ABOVE: Indonesia’s top accident investigator said on Wednesday that there are no indications of foul play in last month’s crash of an AirAsia jetliner.
JAKARTA, Indonesia – An AirAsia plane that crashed last month with 162 people on board was climbing at an abnormally high rate, then plunged and suddenly disappeared from radar, Indonesia’s transport minister said Tuesday.
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Ignasius Jonan told Parliament that radar data showed the Airbus A320 was climbing at about 6,000 feet a minute before it disappeared on Dec. 28.
“It is not normal to climb like that, it’s very rare for commercial planes, which normally climb just 1,000 to 2,000 feet per minute,” he said. “It can only be done by a fighter jet.”
He said the plane then plunged and disappeared from radar.
Jonan did not say what caused the plane to climb so rapidly.
READ MORE: Rough sea conditions again prevent divers from reaching AirAsia jet’s fuselage
In their last contact with air-traffic controllers, the pilots of AirAsia Flight 8501 asked to climb from 32,000 feet to 38,000 feet to avoid threatening clouds, but were denied permission because of heavy air traffic. Four minutes later, the plane disappeared. No distress signal was received.
An excessively rapid ascent is likely to cause an airplane to go into an aerodynamic stall. In 2009, an Air France Airbus A330 disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean in bad weather while flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. Investigators were able to determine from the jet’s “black boxes” that it began a steep climb and then went into a stall from which the pilots were unable to recover.
Airbus spokesman Justin Dubon said Tuesday that it was too early to comment on possible similarities between the two crashes.
Survey ships have located at least nine big objects, including the AirAsia jet’s fuselage and tail, in the Java Sea. The plane’s black boxes – the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder – have been recovered but are still being analyzed.
“So far, we’ve managed to download and transcribe half of the cockpit voice recorder,” said Nurcahyo Utomo, a commissioner with the National Transportation Safety Committee. “It is too early to draw any conclusion yet because we don’t know what is in the remaining half.”
He said there was no indication of terrorism, and there were no other voices in the cockpit other than the pilot and co-pilot.
The plane was en route from Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, to Singapore.
Only 53 bodies have been recovered so far. Rough sea conditions have repeatedly prevented divers from reaching the wreckage.
Associated Press writers Ali Kotarumalos in Jakarta and Greg Keller in Paris contributed to this report.
Shoppers will begin to see deep discounts on apparel, household essentials and home décor items among thousands of other products at Target Canada in about a couple of weeks’ time, a spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.
“We do expect that to begin in about 2-3 weeks,” spokesperson Eric Hausman said in an email message. Liquidation sales will be followed on fast by store closures, experts suggest.
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Analysts at Desjardins Securities said Tuesday all 133 Target locations across Canada will likely be closed by the early spring, or just two years after the U.S. retailer launched in Canada.
“It appears likely in our view that all stores will be closed before the end of April,” analysts at the financial services firm said. “Target’s exit from Canada appears likely to be orderly and rapid.”
MORE: Here’s why Target failed in Canada
As part of Target Canada’s bankruptcy filing last week, the Canadian chain said it will pay employees for up to 16 weeks of work, or to May 7, as it winds down operations.
What you see, what you get
What’s in stores now is largely what shoppers will see deals on, with no new merchandise coming in from suppliers. Additional merchandise located at three distribution centres will find its way into stores in the coming weeks as well.
As part of its application to an Ontario bankruptcy court, Target has immediately cancelled all purchase orders from Canadian and U.S. vendors that haven’t been shipped, and on orders with overseas vendors if the title of goods hasn’t yet passed.
Target’s expected to begin looking at selling its Canadian leases and real estate soon, as well. Last week, company management said on a conference call they will begin discussions with possible suitors in two or three weeks’ time.
Target holds leases to 137 store locations in all, as well as the real estate on three corporately owned stores. Experts suggest the leases will draw interest from multiple parties, but Walmart, Canadian Tire and Loblaw will show the strongest interest. But just how strong is uncertain.
MORE: Get ready for more Walmarts, Canada
Growth estimates for the economy in general and retail spending in particular are being shaved almost weekly as collapsing oil prices ripple throughout the country, denting consumer confidence in the process.
Rival retailers may not be eager to snap up Target’s underperforming locations.
“It is not clear to us that demand for 100,000 square-foot boxes is particularly large, or growing, especially in light of Target’s recent operating experience in Canada,” Desjardins analyst Keith Howlett said.
WATCH: Experts suggest it won’t take long for other retailers to snap up prime target locations. Doug Vaessen reports.
The Canadian Consulate in Yemen‘s capital is operating as usual amid political unrest in capital city Sanaa, the federal government confirmed on Tuesday, although Canadians are “urged to leave the country immediately.”
There have been no changes in staffing levels, a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) said in an email to Global News.
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“We take the safety of our personnel and our mission overseas very seriously,” DFATD spokesperson Francois Lasalle said in the email, noting there are no Canadian staff working at the consulate.
DFATD would not comment on specific security precautions at the consulate — located just a few kilometres from the presidential palace, which Houthi rebels reportedly took over on Tuesday.
Reuters reported Houthi rebels engaged in a brief clash with guards at the palace, where the main office of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi is located, before control of the building was relinquished.
Lasalle said 149 Canadians have registered themselves as being in Yemen, but he indicated that number “is only an estimate” as registration is voluntary. “Registrants may include family members or co-travellers who are not Canadian,” he added.
Consular services for Canadians travelling or living in Yemen are available at the consulate in Sanaa and through the Canadian Embassy to Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh.
On its website, Foreign Affairs warned Canadians against all travel to Yemen and that assistance to Canadians could be limited.
“You are strongly urged to leave the country immediately if it is safe to do so. As the situation deteriorates further, roads may be blocked and airports may close on short notice. Check the status of your flight prior to travelling to the airport,” read a notice on the Canadian government website.
U.S. officials on Monday said staff at the American embassy in Sanaa could be evacuated if the security situation worsened, but there were no immediate plans to do so.
Meantime, gunmen fired their weapons as a U.S. diplomatic vehicle attempted to pass through a checkpoint near the embassy on Monday night, according to CNN.
“The U.S. Embassy said Tuesday the shooters fired first into the air and then turned the guns on its vehicle. The vehicle carried U.S. diplomatic personnel and was at a checkpoint near the embassy. No injuries were reported,” CNN reported.
Houthi rebels, members of the Shiite Muslim minority in Yemen, clashed with military forces near the presidential palace Sunday night, before agreeing to a ceasefire with government armed forces on Monday.
The truce did not do much to quell the chaos. Nine people were killed and at least 90 others injured as violent clashes continued on Monday, while Houthi rebels seized state-run media offices and surrounded the Prime Ministers’s residence.
The country’s Information Minister, Nadia Sakkaf, said Monday the rebel moves were “a step toward a coup and it is targeting the state’s legitimacy.”
The Houthis are seen by their critics as a proxy of Shiite Iran — charges they deny — and are believed to be allied with former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, ousted in a 2012 deal after Arab Spring protests. They have vowed to eradicate al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror affiliate that claimed responsibility for the attack on the Paris office of satire magazine Charlie Hebdo, but are also hostile to the U.S.
With files from The Associated Press
TORONTO — Mötley Crüe announced Tuesday the band will hit the road one final time this year, including stops in four Canadian cities.
The tour, which kicks off Feb. 11 in Japan, will wrap up on New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles.
Mötley Crüe, with opening act Alice Cooper, will play Winnipeg’s MTS Centre on Aug. 3, Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on Aug. 22, Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre on Aug. 23, and Montreal’s Bell Centre on Aug. 24.
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The band — Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee — signed a “Cessation of Touring Agreement” at a press conference in January 2014. The first leg of their Final Tour grossed more than $45 million from shows in 72 cities.
“In some of the cities, we could only reach a fraction of the fans who wanted to come see us play last year because of ticket demand so we’re coming back to those places to bring them our full production including the Crüecifly drum coaster, as well as all pyro and every other bell and whistle,” Sixx said, in a release.
Mötley Crüe has sold more than 100 million records since forming in 1981. The band released nine studio albums.
The Greatest Hits album is available for free download until Jan. 27.
A new single, “All Bad Things” was released Tuesday.
NEW DELHI – India’s latest tiger census shows a sharp increase in the number of the endangered cats in the wild, raising hopes that conservation efforts are working, officials said Tuesday.
The census conducted in 2014 found at least 2,226 tigers in forests across the country, up from 1,706 counted in 2010.
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Environment minister Prakash Javadekar described the figure as a huge success story and said it was the result of sustained conservation efforts.
“While the tiger population is falling in the world, it is rising in India. This is great news,” Javadekar told journalists in New Delhi.
Tigers in India have been threatened by rampant poaching and shrinking habitats from deforestation caused by power projects, roads and human settlements as the country pushes ahead with rapid industrialization and economic development.
The disappearance of forests has affected the availability of prey and led tigers to stray into human habitats.
Javadekar said more than 9,700 cameras were used in the massive count and the results are the most accurate in the past few decades.
Tigers have been threatened in India due to poaching and deforestation. (AP Photo/ Joydip Kundu
Tigers have been threatened in India due to poaching and deforestation.
(AP Photo/ Joydip Kundu
“Never before has such an exercise been taken. We have unique photographs of 80 per cent of the tigers” in the wild, he said.
Officials said nearly 380,000 square kilometres of forest area in 18 states were surveyed.
A century ago an estimated 100,000 tigers roamed India’s forests. Their numbers declined steadily till the 1970s, when India banned tiger hunting and embarked on a program to create special reserves and protected areas in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Conservation efforts began to pay off around 2010 when tiger numbers began to rise.
READ MORE: Man killed by tiger after climbing into enclosure at New Delhi zoo
India faces intense international scrutiny over its tiger conservation efforts as it has nearly three-fourths of the world’s estimated 3,200 tigers.
Shrinking habitats have brought the wild cats into conflict with farmers who live near tiger reserves. Also, the illegal trade in tiger skin and body parts remains a stubborn and serious threat. Tiger organs and bones fetch high prices on the black market because of demand driven by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners.