Monday, 30 March 2015

Alps crash: Lubitz 'had treatment for suicidal tendencies'


  • 1 hour ago
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  • From the sectionEurope
Media captionGerman prosecutor Christoph Kumpa said Andreas Lubitz had treatment for suicidal tendencies a number of years ago
The co-pilot of the crashed Germanwings plane, Andreas Lubitz, had received treatment for suicidal tendencies before getting his pilot licence, investigators say, but not recently.
Lubitz, 27, is suspected of deliberately crashing the plane in the Alps, killing all 150 people on board.
Officials in Duesseldorf said the investigation to this point had revealed no clue to any motive.
So far, DNA strands of 80 of the victims have been found.
Duesseldorf public prosecutor Christoph Kumpa said that "several years" before Lubitz became a pilot he "had at that time been in treatment of a psychotherapist because of what is documented as being suicidal".
But he added: "In the following period, and until recently, further doctor's visits took place, resulting in sick notes without any suicidal tendencies or aggression against others being recorded."
No specific dates were given. Lubitz enrolled in training with Lufthansa in 2008 and became a pilot in 2013.
Andreas Lubitz participates in the Airport Hamburg 10-mile race on 13 September 2009 in Hamburg
Andreas Lubitz left no letter, investigators say
Mr Kumpa added: "There still is no evidence that the co-pilot said beforehand that he would do what we have to assume was done and we haven't found a letter or anything like that that contains a confession."
Mr Kumpa said: "We have not found anything in his surrounding [environment] - be it personal or his family or his professional surrounding - that is giving us any hints that enable us to say anything about his motivation."
There had been some media reports that Lubitz had problems with his vision, possibly a detached retina.
But Mr Kumpa said there was no documentation on any eyesight problems that were caused by an "organic illness".
There has also been widespread speculation about Lubitz's romantic life.
One unconfirmed report has suggested his long-term girlfriend was pregnant, while an ex-girlfriend revealed that he vowed last year to do something memorable.
"One day I'm going to do something that will change the whole system, and everyone will know my name and remember," she quoted him as saying.

Memorial service

Flight 4U 9525 crashed near the French Alpine village of Le Vernet on 24 March, flying from Barcelona to Duesseldorf.
The cockpit voice recorder suggested Lubitz crashed the plane deliberately after locking pilot Patrick Sondenheimer out of the cockpit.
French rescue worker inspects debris near Seyne-les-Alpes
A route to enable all-terrain vehicles to reach the scene may open by the end of Monday
Capt Sondenheimer is heard banging on the door, screaming, "Open the damn door!"
The data recorder, which tracks the plane's altitude, speed and direction, has not yet been found.
Lufthansa board chairman Kay Kratky on Monday warned it may have been too badly damaged and may not be sending signals.
Bad weather has halted helicopter flights to the site, forcing investigators to get there on foot.
An access road to the remote site is being dug by a bulldozer to provide all-terrain vehicles with access to the area and could be completed by Monday evening.
A support centre for victims' families has been opened at a hotel in Marseille, from where Germanwings plans to provide counselling and visits to the crash site.
In Germany, a 100-strong task force is investigating the crash. While 50 police work on the murder inquiry, the others are obtaining DNA samples to help identify victims' remains.
An official memorial service for those onboard flight 4U 9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf will be held on 17 April in Germany's most famous church - Cologne Cathedral - in the presence of President Joachim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Map showing flight path

Nigeria election: First results expected


  • 1 hour ago
  •  
  • From the sectionAfrica
Election officials start the counting process at a polling station in Lagos on March 28, 2015
Counting is under way but the announcement of results has already been delayed
Nigeria's election body says it expects to announce the final results of Saturday's keenly contested presidential poll on Tuesday.
Incumbent Goodluck Jonathan is facing a strong challenge from former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari.
The US and UK in a joint statement expressed concern over possible "political interference" in the count.
Voting over the weekend was marred by technical hitches, protests and violence linked to Boko Haram.
"So far, we have seen no evidence of systemic manipulation of the process," the statement from UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and US Secretary of State John Kerry said.
"But there are disturbing indications that the collation process, where the votes are finally counted, may be subject to deliberate political interference."
Nigeria's election commission (Inec) dismissed these fears, with a spokesman telling the AFP agency "there is absolutely no basis" to talk of meddling.
Women from communities in Rivers state protest against irregularities in voting in the weekend's election, at Port Harcourt March 30, 2015
There have been two days of protests against alleged irregularities in Rivers State
People read newspapers with election headlines on the street in Abuja, Nigeria Monday, March 30, 2015
A BBC correspondent says the mood in Abuja is "jittery" as people await the results
Police in the battleground Rivers State have used teargas against female opposition protesters who were attempting to lodge complaints with election officials of alleged rigging.
Voting spilled into Sunday in some parts of Nigeria after problems were encountered with new electronic card readers.
President Jonathan was among those whose registration to vote was delayed by the technology, which was introduced to prevent fraud.
His Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which had opposed the card readers, called it a "huge national embarrassment".
Election commission chief Attahiru Jega said only a fraction of the 150,000 card readers being used nationwide had failed.
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Nigeria at a glance:

A Nigerian voter poses for a photo with a newly acquired permanent voters card - February 2015
  • Two main presidential candidates: Muhammadu Buhari, All Progressives Congress (APC), Muslim northerner, ex-military ruler, fourth presidential bid; and Goodluck Jonathan, People's Democratic Party (PDP), Christian southerner, the incumbent.
  • Years of military rule ended in 1999 and the PDP has been in power ever since
  • Nigeria is Africa's largest economy and leading oil producer
  • With a population of more than 170 million, it is also Africa's most populous nation
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The presidential and parliamentary elections had been delayed by six weeks because of the insurgency by Boko Haram militants.
The Islamists attacked polling stations in north-eastern states, with a curfew declared in Bauchi State after fighting between the security forces and the group.
The UN gave an upbeat assessment of the vote on Sunday, with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praising the "determination and resilience" of Nigerian voters, despite the reports of attacks by Boko Haram and others.
He said in a statement voting had been "largely peaceful and orderly".
A man stands in front of electoral campaign posters in Lagos March 30, 2015
President Goodluck Jonathan is bidding for a second term
A man wears glasses and body paint adorned with the logo of Nigeria's main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) as residents await results of the presidential election in Abuja
An APC party supporter, which has provided a stiff challenge to the government
His comments were echoed by the regional bloc Ecowas, which urged Nigerians to accept the result.
Results of the voting have begun trickling in but so far there is no official indication of which party is in the lead.
The PDP has dominated Nigerian politics since 1999, but Gen Buhari's All Progressives Congress is viewed as a serious challenge.
Voters are also electing members of the house of representatives and the senate.

British couple found dead in Spain


  • 2 hours ago
  •  
  • From the sectionUK
Benidorm
Benidorm is one of the coastal towns in Spain's Alicante province
A British couple have been found dead with bullet wounds in the province of Alicante, Spanish police have said.
The bodies of Peter and Jean Tarsey, both aged 77, were found at their villa on Sunday afternoon, the Guardia Civil said.
A spokeswoman from Spain's national police force said friends of the couple went to visit them because they had not been seen for a few days.
The Foreign Office said it was "ready to provide consular assistance".
A Guardia Civil spokeswoman said: "They [the friends] found the door was open and there were no signs of a break-in.
"The couple, who had been living in Spain for 18 years, were found dead with gunshot wounds on the sofa.
"The Guardia Civil is now awaiting the results of post-mortem examinations and investigations continue."
Alicante is on Spain's south-eastern coast and is part of the Costa Blanca, a popular tourist destination.

NSA shooting: One dead and at least two injured


Aerial footage of the scene
One person is dead and at least two people are injured after a shooting at a gate to the US National Security Agency headquarters.
An unnamed official told the Associated Press that gunfire broke out after a car tried to ram the gate to the military campus near Washington DC.
Live aerial footage showed two vehicles - one of which was a police vehicle - with damage near the security gate.
Two people were taken to hospital, according to several media reports.
Around 40,000 people work at the facility inside the campus of Fort Meade, Maryland.
NBC4 has a photo of a uniformed man being put into an ambulance.
Exactly what happened is not clear, and multiple requests for information sent to the NSA have not yet been returned. Calls to the NSA were answered, but no information was provided.
Helicopter footage showed two cars - one a police vehicle and the other a black vehicle with no insignia - in a junction that had been roped off near the security gates.
The cars appear to have collided and debris is strewn across the intersection. A white cloth appears to cover something beside the black vehicle.
Aerial footage of the scene showing police presence
Several police officers appear to be at the scene
Aerial footage of the NSA Headquarters this morning
The NSA is headquartered at Fort Meade, Maryland, just a few miles outside of Washington
The NSA is a clandestine intelligence agency, charged with collecting and analysing electronic signals for US intelligence and counterintelligence purposes. The agency rose to prominence after Edward Snowden leaked thousands of the agency's documents in the Spring of 2013.
Local emergency responders say that the NSA police force is handling the incident, and local agencies are providing support.
Early this month the FBI arrested a man for firing shots that damaged the building from a nearby highway.

India's Bihar state arrests '1,000 police test cheats'


  • 2 hours ago
  •  
  • From the sectionIndia
Bihar police force
Tens of thousands of people had applied for the latest jobs in Bihar's police force
More than 1,000 men have reportedly been arrested in India's Bihar state for impersonating candidates in physical fitness tests for the police.
The men had been hired to pass themselves off as the candidates, according to the state police.
The arrests were made over the last fortnight, as documents produced by the men were found to have been falsified.
Photographs of mass cheating in Bihar's secondary school exams provoked an outcry earlier this month.
More than 300 people, many of them parents, were arrested after the publication of the pictures.
Last year, some 150 people were arrested in Bihar for cheating in a written exam for police constables, Indian media say.
However, a Bihar police official told the Times of India newspaper that the latest round of arrests is the largest ever made for impersonation.
Some 52,000 people were selected for the physical fitness test, according to Indian media, with the state government hoping to recruit around 12,000 police constables from their ranks.

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