WICB-CARICOM tension continues … Mitchell slams Cameron’s ‘amazing level of disrespect’

first_img DISPUTE OVER REPORT ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC): Grenada’s Prime Minister, Dr Keith Mitchell, yesterday slammed what he called an “amazing level of disrespect” on the part of West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron, as pressure continued to mount on the beleaguered Board to meet urgently with CARICOM leaders over the Governance Review Panel report. Mitchell, the chairman of CARICOM’s Cricket Governance Committee, stopped short of issuing an ultimatum to the WICB but urged Cameron to rethink his decision not to accommodate a meeting with regional heads before the board of directors meeting on December 12 in St Lucia. Cameron has been adamant about the WICB’s inability to accommodate the Caribbean leaders prior to the already scheduled meeting and reiterated this position in written communication to CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque on Tuesday. “It is quite amazing the level of disrespect. The level of lack of understanding of the importance of this is quite frightening, and I don’t think I should hold back any words,” Mitchell said bluntly as he spoke on the last day of the OECS Summit here. “I expect the president of the West Indies Cricket Board to respect the leadership of the Caribbean, the leadership of the people of the region, and to give effect to an urgent meeting. “We expect no less, and I hope and pray that what we saw was a rush of blood and not his (Cameron) real intentions, so I expect to see a meeting very, very soon between the leadership, and we are waiting for that answer to meet quickly to move cricket forward in the region.” The salvo from the veteran Caribbean leader is the latest in the standoff between the WICB and CARICOM following the release of the Governance Review Panel report earlier this month. Chaired by UWI Cave Hill Campus principal Professor Eudine Barriteau, the panel had as its main recommendation the “immediate dissolution of the West Indies Cricket Board and the appointment of an interim board whose structure and composition would be radically different from the now proven, obsolete governance framework”. Cameron, while speaking in The Cayman Islands last weekend, again stressed that scheduling an “urgent meeting”, as had been requested by CARICOM, was impractical as the board needed time to go over the report. Also, he said there were “a number of professionals who sit on the West Indies Cricket Board and just calling a board of directors meeting is not that easy.” The statement provoked Mitchell’s ire, forcing him to respond. Mitchell said though regional leaders were extremely busy, they were willing to sacrifice the time to discuss the pressing issue of Caribbean cricket. The panel was commissioned by the CARICOM Cricket Governance Committee back in April, with input from the WICB.last_img read more

Lions Club to Invest over US$1m in Liberia

first_imgThe District Governor of 403, A2, Lions Club International, Tobias K. Bruce, has said the Lions are ready to assist Liberians in meeting some of their needs, including support for health and education.Lion Bruce, who was on an official visit to Liberia, made the commitment on Friday at the Liberia Chamber of Commerce office on Capitol Hill in Monrovia, shortly before departing the country.“Because of our plan to support some initiatives in the country, we had the opportunity to meet with the vice president, Joseph N. Boakai, authorities at the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital,” he explained.He said the lions will invest a million dollars on the John F. Kennedy Hospital project and a little over US$50,000 on education, with additional plans to increase the amounts to ensure that the projects meet their goals.Lion Bruce commended the lions in Liberia for their level of contribution to society. “They have made some progress on various projects inspected and we are working hard to see more completed and undertaken as well. As a governor, I have talked with the lions in the country and we want to increase our membership. “I am happy to receive two new clubs, which amount to 50 persons,” he said.“We want to work with the population of this country, and first want to appreciate the warm welcome by the Vice President,” said Lion Bruce. Lions Club International is an International secular, non-political service organization founded by Melvin Jones in 1917. As of April 2015, it had over 46,000 local clubs and more than 1.4 million members in over 200 countries around the world.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Amazon swim ends

first_imgRIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – After 3,272 miles of exhaustion, sunburn, delirium and piranhas, a 52-year-old Slovenian successfully completed a swim down the Amazon River Saturday that could set a world record for distance – something he’s already done three times before. After nine weeks, Martin Strel arrived near the city of Belem, the capital of the jungle state of Para, ending a swim almost as long as the drive from Miami to Seattle. Strel averaged about 50miles a day since beginning his odyssey at the source of the world’s second-longest river in Peru on Feb.1. By Thursday evening, he was struggling with dizziness, vertigo, high blood pressure, diarrhea, nausea and delirium, his Web site said. But despite having difficulty standing and being ordered by the doctor not to swim, Strel was obsessed with finishing the course and insisted on night swimming. Speaking in fluent accented English by satellite phone during a break aboard his support vessel, Strel said the going got tougher the closer he got to Belem. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “The finish has been the toughest moment so far,” he said Thursday. “I’ve been swimming fewer kilometers as I get closer to the end. The ocean tides have a lot of influence on the river’s currents, and sometimes they are so strong that I am pushed backward.” He said he was lucky to have escaped encounters with piranhas, the dreaded toothpick fish, which swims into body orifices to suck blood, and even bull sharks that swim in shallow waters and can live for a while in fresh water. “I think the animals have just accepted me,” he said.last_img read more

Expo’s a worldwide soundstage

first_img“That’s never been more important than it is currently because everyone is keen on reducing the below-the-line costs,” James said. It used to be mostly Canada, with its attractive financial incentives, that attracted movies and television shows formerly shot largely in California. But other countries, such as Australia and the United Kingdom, also dove in and have been followed by dozens more. Countries from Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific Rim, Africa and the Middle East will be making their pitches. And they will have plenty of company as U.S. film commissions are also planning to crowd the convention floor. California alone will have two-dozen film commissions from around the state represented. But these days the Golden State is at somewhat of a disadvantage. States such as New York, Louisiana and New Mexico offer financial incentives and have growing infrastructures in the form of filmmaking facilities and workers. In contrast, California has no state-sponsored incentives and no proposed legislation pending. A bill introduced last year was modeled after New York’s incentive package and proposed offering a 12 percent refundable tax credit based on qualifying state expenditures. It never made it to the floor of the state Senate. New Mexico, which offers a 20 percent tax credit, saw its production spending leap from $71 million in 2005 to $142 million last year. A 2006 year-end report released by FilmLA Inc. showed that location production for big-screen movies dropped by 7.4 percent last year. “Every year, this location expo points out how valuable the jobs are and the economic impact the film industry has,” said Steve MacDonald, president of FilmLA, which handles the permitting process for the city and surrounding areas and tracks location production activity. “You’ve got a growing number each year of states and countries willing to spend money in order to try and lure productions and jobs and revenue to their home jurisdictions.” greg.hernandez@dailynews.com (818) 713-3758160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Los Angeles may be the film capital of the world, but that isn’t stopping more than 260 exhibitors from more than three dozen countries and 30 U.S. states from coming to town to try to lure film production to their areas. The Association of Film Commissioners International kicks off its three-day conference and trade show today at the Santa Monica Civic Center. Production companies are looking to be wooed by savings in the form of tax incentives and other cost-cutting offers. “The show is a sellout, and there’s a waiting list,” said AFCI President Robin James, who expects more than 4,000 industry professionals to attend. “There is great interest in what film commissions from around the world have to offer in terms of incentives.” James, chief executive officer of the Pacific Film & Television Commission in Queensland, Australia, said having the commissions all in one place for three days gives production companies the opportunity to compare and contrast location costs, incentives and production services from around the U.S. and rest of the world. last_img read more


first_imgBUSINESS: Official figures released from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry this morning confirm that Toyota has been the most popular brand in the county for the first 10 days of the new 152 registration period.Kelly’s lead the way with 66 new registrations and 20% of the Donegal market. They are followed by Hyundai on 57 and Volkswagen on 31.The Top 10 are occupied by four Toyota models, the Rav 4, Corolla, Yaris and Auris.Mr Brendan Kelly of Kellys Toyota told Donegal Daily, “We are delighted to be the No 1 in the county for the new July registration period and for the year to date.“We have 4 models in the Top 10 which shows the diversity of the brand and the ability to suit all needs and budgets. “A number of new initiatives launched by Toyota and available exclusively to the Toyota dealer have assisted us throughout the year.“Toyota Flex finance is a new finance initiative which can be tailored to suit the individual customers need, designed with new levels of affordability, flexibility and assurance.“With deposits starting as low as 7% of the on the road price and interest rates from 4.49% a finance package can be designed for each individual.“Toyota has been widely recognised in the last 12 months as having the best resale value in Ireland.“This has been confirmed by a number of independent studies. This allows us to offer premium prices to our customers for their used vehicle.“Anybody purchasing a new Toyota can rest assured that when it comes to trade in value in a number of years they will have a vehicle which has not depreciated significantly. “Kelly’s Toyota wish to thank all our loyal customers over the years and the many new customers they have introduced to Toyota this year.For details on all Toyota’s, call into the showrooms of Kellys Toyota in Mountcharles and Letterkenny or visit www.kellystoyota.com.KELLY’S TOYOTA RETAIN STATUS AS DONEGAL’S FAVOURITE CAR BRAND was last modified: July 15th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Businessnewslast_img read more


first_imgIf you love RTE’s ‘Reeling In The Years’, then it’s coming to Donegal – Letterkenny style.A meeting of people interested in swapping stories and photos from the past is to take place in the Station House Hotel in Letterkenny tonight at 8pm.Tonight is just an introductory meeting to see if many people from the town and surrounding areas are interested in forming a community group. And according to organisers you don’t even to be a ‘townie’ to come along! THEY’RE ‘REELING IN THE YEARS’ IN LETTERKENNY was last modified: January 22nd, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:letterkennymeetingReeling In The Yearslast_img read more

Africa must learn from its past: Manuel

first_img24 May 2013As a continent, Africa needs to pause and reflect on the history of the past 50 years and begin to develop lessons for the next 50 years, says National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel.Speaking at the African Renaissance Conference in Durban on Thursday, Manuel said Africans needed to ask “what we learnt from the various strategies we used to regain our independence. What progress have we made? What are our successes and where have we failed?”Manuel said the key lesson that Africa should take was responsibility, adding that Africans could not allow their agenda to be set by anyone else.“We cannot expect things to be done for us. If we want to advance, we need to catalyse the change we want to see through better planning and more effective implementation. We need to use the resources at our disposal to drive the agenda of raising the standards of living of our people.”According to Manuel, Africa needs regional integration that draws on the respective strengths of the different countries that make up the continent in order to overcome its shortcomings.Countries should draw on each other’s strengths to build “the desirable” for all countries – not for one country to develop on the back of the suffering of another.“To progress as a continent and take advantage of the favourable position we find ourselves in, we must move from the premise that we can only benefit from each other’s strength.”However, for this to work, the continent would need careful planning, a ruthless focus on implementation, and political stamina.Manuel said that South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP), which aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030, is clear about the importance of education and training as a key foundation for social development and progress.In order to improve the continent’s skills base, a concerted effort was required, starting with correcting the basics.“We must raise the bar for all concerned to ensure that the education that all our children, regardless of where the school is located or whether it was a former Model C school, provides the highest quality possible,” he said.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Gorkha movement gathers steam

first_imgThe fresh movement for a separate State of Gorkhaland in the Darjeeling hills gathered steam on Tuesday with smaller parties backing the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) demand.At a meeting called by the GJM at the Darjeeling Gymkhana Club, representatives of the Gorkha Rashtriya Nirman Manch, Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), the Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists(CPRM) and the BJP were present. It was decided to collectively carry forward the struggle for Gorkhaland.In an embarrassment for the Trinamool Congress, the GNLF, with whom it had forged an alliance in the recent municipal polls, came out in full support of Gorkhaland.“The GNLF wholeheartedly supports the demand for Gorkhaland,” GNLF spokesperson Neeraj Zimba Tamang said, adding the alliance with the Trinamool Congress was only an “electoral understanding.” Mr. Tamang said the demand for Gorkhaland was raised by GNLF founder Subhash Ghising and the party would stand by whoever raises the issue.GJM general secretary Roshan Giri demanded a written clarification from the West Bengal government on the three language policy, which intends to make Bengali compulsory. He said the movement would be peaceful.last_img read more

E.U. Parliament Committee Adopts Watered-Down Restrictions on Deep-Sea Fishing

first_imgBRUSSELS—After months of delays, the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee approved a report yesterday to restrict fishing practices deemed destructive for deep-sea ecosystems. But the committee did not back the proposal to ban bottom trawling and gillnetting altogether, an idea put forward by the European Commission in July last year.Bottom trawling and gillnetting are nonselective methods that catch 20% to 40% of unwanted fish, including vulnerable deep-sea species with long lifespans and slow reproduction rates. About 300 marine scientists have signed a petition in favor of the ban, released in June by a French marine conservation nongovernmental organization called Bloom.The Fisheries Committee agreed to close off northeast Atlantic areas known (or likely) to harbor vulnerable marine ecosystems, such as sponges and corals, to bottom trawling. “These areas are the spawning and nursing grounds of deep-sea species and their protection will be invaluable in achieving the recovery of deep-sea stocks,” said Kriton Arsenis, the social-democrat Member of Parliament from Greece who authored the committee’s report,  in a statement yesterday.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Besides, the committee introduced more stringent rules for data collection and a more robust scientific basis to set sustainable catch limits. It also left the door ajar for a general phaseout later—but only after an assessment of the impact of deep-sea fishing gear on fragile species and marine ecosystems after 4 years.In a statement, Greenpeace said that the proposed measures are too weak and their effects uncertain, and that bottom trawling and gillnetting should be banned completely. These methods “contribute only around one per cent of the EU’s total catch, yet suck up millions of euros in subsidies, destroy large areas of fragile sea-floor and overfish many deep-sea species,” Greenpeace fisheries expert Saskia Richartz said in the statement.Other environmental groups are a bit more optimistic. The committee vote hands over the baton to the whole Parliament, which is slated to vote on the issue next month. Bloom and Oceana, a conservation organization in Madrid, hope the plenary—which usually takes a more radical stance than the Fisheries Committee on these issues—will reconsider a full ban.But there are more steps ahead before any restrictions can be rolled out. The Parliament must also negotiate the legislation with member states, and fisheries ministers haven’t even started discussing the issue. Sources close to the negotiations say that France and Spain—where most European deep-sea trawling fisheries are based—have blocked the file.last_img read more

Spend the Minimum: How Lion Air Hid Equipment Failures and Beat Regulators

first_imgThe government safety inspector had spent all night at the Makassar airport, in eastern Indonesia, several years ago, poring over a Lion Air jet that had suffered a hydraulic failure. Telling airline employees that the plane was to be grounded until the problem was fixed, the inspector went back to a hotel for a quick shower.When the inspector returned, the plane was on the runway, about to take off.Furious, the inspector demanded that the passengers disembark. But a supervisor with Lion Air explained how the airline had gone over the inspector’s head: Federal transportation officials in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, had given permission for takeoff, the inspector said. The plane was in the air minutes later.The notorious safety record of Lion Air, Indonesia’s largest carrier and one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines, is back in the spotlight after the crash of Flight 610, which hurtled nose-first into Indonesian waters with 189 people on board just minutes after takeoff on Oct. 29.Investigators are trying to figure out what deadly alchemy of factors caused a new Boeing jet to plunge into the water at more than 400 mph.They are examining whether Boeing failed to adequately explain modifications to the plane, a new 737 Max 8 model; how Lion Air handled repeated failures with the plane’s data readings for days before the crash; and how pilot training or confusion may have come into play in a case where only seconds may have been available to save the plane and its occupants.But even as the mystery of Flight 610 is still being pieced together, one thing is clear, investigators and aviation experts say: Few airlines were less prepared to deal with crisis than Lion Air.Interviews with dozens of Lion Air’s management personnel and flight and ground crew members, as well as Indonesian investigators and airline analysts, paint a picture of a carrier so obsessed with growth that it has failed to build a proper safety culture.As Lion Air Group, which owns several carriers including Lion Air, expands aggressively both at home and abroad, new questions are being raised about the company’s stunning rise. Lion ranks as one of Indonesia’s highest-profile companies, but it remains shadowed by accounts of opacity and incompetence from former employees and industry regulators.Even as Lion Air Group signed the two biggest aircraft deals in aviation history in recent years, its flagship carrier has suffered at least 15 major safety lapses, including a crash that killed 25 people, and hundreds more episodes that have escaped the public eye, aviation experts said.Government safety investigators say the company’s political ties have allowed it to circumvent their recommendations, as in the episode in Makassar, and to play down instances that would cause alarm elsewhere.Lion Air became adept at passing malfunctioning equipment from plane to plane rather than fixing problems, former employees said.Lion Air did not respond to repeated requests for comment regarding specific instances in which former employees and government investigators said the company had breached safety standards.Frank Caron, who was brought in as Lion Air’s safety manager from 2009 to 2011 on orders from insurance firms, said the carrier had an average of one major engineering issue every three days, even though most of its fleet was new.“Buying all the latest-generation, state-of-the-art engineering will be in vain if you don’t have systems in place that prioritize safety,” he said.Caron said that in his first month at Lion, insurance companies were shown logbooks that drastically understated the number of hours pilots worked.“What I saw was a company, from the top down, that made saving money a motto — so spend the minimum on pilot training, salaries, management, everything,” Caron said.Edward Sirait, Lion Air Group’s president director, denied that the company cut corners or dissembled in logbooks. In an interview in his sparsely furnished office, he said the company had twin priorities: growth and safety.“When we expand, we think about all the markets we have to get,” he said. “But we always develop in accordance with our fleet, human resources, crew and also the maintenance facilities.”Sirait added that Lion Air pilots were “professional” and would not keep dual logbooks. “If he was caught, his license would get revoked,” he said.Political PowerLion Air, Indonesia’s first low-cost private airline, was founded in 1999 by Rusdi Kirana, a former typewriter salesman and pastry chef whose sole experience with the aviation industry was running a travel agency.Today, Lion Air Group is Southeast Asia’s largest carrier in terms of fleet size, according to the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation, a consultancy, and the airline has 458 planes on order.To cater to some of its 30,000-strong workforce, the company built its own suburb on the outskirts of Jakarta, called Lion City.Yet from the start, the airline was shrouded in secrecy. Lion Air Group released few financial details. It paid for all those jets by borrowing heavily from foreign banks and aircraft leasing companies.Lion collected so many creditors that some banks were leery, even before the crash of Flight 610.“A lot of the banks have full exposure or overexposure on them and are reluctant to lend more,” said David Yu, the managing director of Inception Aviation Holdings, a European aircraft leasing and investment company.Back at home, the company tended to its political connections.By 2014, Kirana had ascended to the deputy chairmanship of the National Awakening Party, the largest Islamic political party in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation. It was a curious position for an ethnic Chinese Christian businessman.Kirana, who declined to be interviewed, has served as an economic adviser to President Joko Widodo of Indonesia. Last year, Kirana successfully lobbied to become the Indonesian ambassador to neighboring Malaysia, where Lion Air Group is stepping up its competition with AirAsia, the region’s other big low-cost carrier.Indonesia’s fortunate geography between India and China shaped Lion’s ambitions, Sirait said.“We look at the radius between China and South Asia, and it will keep growing with extraordinary economic growth,” he said. “That is our dream. That’s why we bought the aircraft.”For airplane manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus, low-cost carriers in the developing world are a boon, despite worries about lax safety standards.“This is an example of a win-win situation where the people of the region are going to be able to benefit from an outstanding airline,” President Barack Obama said in 2011 when Lion Air Group signed a $22 billion order for Boeing planes, the largest single order in the manufacturer’s history.Yet for all the ribbon-cutting jubilation, aviation experts worried the company had grown too fast for its own good.Members of its flight and maintenance crews, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid losing their jobs, say they were pressured to keep double logs to hide overwork and inattention to safety. Pilots said they resorted to using methamphetamine to survive the grueling hours.Over the years, Lion planes have collided with a cow, a pig and, most embarrassingly, each other. Two days in a row in 2011, Lion planes skidded off the same airport runway.In 2013, a Lion Air flight landed in the ocean rather than at the Bali airport. Official accident reports accused the 24-year-old first officer of lacking “basic principles of jet aircraft flying” and advised Lion to “ensure the pilots are properly trained.”“There are so many bad stories about Lion, it’s hard to know where to start,” said Ruth Simatupang, a former investigator for Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee.In the days since the crash of Lion Air Flight 610, Lion Group planes have been involved in two more episodes: one in which a plane’s wing clipped an electricity pole and another in which a jet experienced a hydraulic failure.Yet Lion has kept on growing.“Everything that’s bad about Indonesia, you can see in Lion,” said Alvin Lie, Indonesia’s official ombudsman and an aviation expert. “Do we want this company representing us, making us look like just another third-world disaster?”Danger SignsCapt. Hasan Basri, a pilot for Lion Air, said that two years ago he checked the logbook to find that the weather radar nestled in the nose of the plane he was to fly wasn’t working.The problem should have been fixed within 10 days. But Hasan said the carrier had a habit of simply moving the faulty radar to another plane. As the clock wound down on the next 10 days, the radar would then be switched to another plane, he said, in a dangerous game of hot potato.Not being able to depend on the plane’s hardware caused unnecessary stress on pilots, who were already overworked, former pilots for Lion Air said. Twenty-two-hour shifts weren’t unusual.Lion Air’s pilots are hired on two-year contracts — a questionable practice under Indonesian labor law — and must pay the company large fines if they choose to leave the company.Even by its own admission, Lion has skimped on pilot training compared with other airlines. When pilots for Garuda, Indonesia’s national carrier, train to fly the Max 8, the same new model that crashed last month, they travel to Singapore to practice on a Max simulator. Lion Air pilots, by contrast, take a three-hour online-learning program.“For the aviation industry, safety should be No. 1,” Hasan said. “But the way the pilots and maintenance crews are treated, the overwork and the fatigue and the worries about the poor management of the airline, it creates an unsafe environment.”For two days before its final flight, the Lion Air plane that crashed into the Java Sea registered inaccurate data readings. Each one on its own might have seemed surmountable. But as the anomalies piled up, the plane kept on flying.“As long as the priority is getting airplanes in the sky rather than safety, then you’re going to have problems,” said Simatupang, the former government investigator.Sirait, Lion Air Group’s president director, declined to discuss specifics of the crash of Flight 610.Laura Lazarus became a Lion Air flight attendant at 19 years old, breezing through a month of training even though she was supposed to undergo three. She flew up to six routes a day, she said.In 2004, Lazarus said, she was involved in her first accident, when a plane overshot the runway in the city of Palembang. Four months later, a jet landing in Surakarta again misjudged the runway and plowed into a cemetery, killing 25 people. Lazarus fractured her arm, leg and hip. A chunk of her calf was ripped out.For years, she wrangled over compensation, but she says she is done fighting.“I have no more tears to spill over how Lion Air treated me,” Lazarus said. “It’s best to leave all that in the past.”c.2018 New York Times News Service Related Itemslast_img read more