WORLD FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2011
Investigators search for crashed Russian plane’s recorders
The wreckage of a Yak-42 passenger jet No 42434 that crashed on takeoff near Yaroslavl’s city airport, some 300 kilometers Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits the site of Wednesday’s plane crash near Yaroslavl, on the Volga River about 150
(185 miles) northeast of Moscow, killing 44 people. (AP) miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Moscow, Sept. 8. (AP)
Russia mourns republics have had some of the world’s worst air traffic
safety records. Experts blame the age of the aircraft, weak
Other standouts killed were Czech players Josef Vasicek,
Karel Rachunek and Jan Marek, Swedish goalie Stefan Liv,
In 1980, 14 members of the US amateur boxing team
were killed in a crash in Warsaw, Poland.
ice hockey team air disaster government controls, poor pilot training and a cost-cutting
Latvian defenseman Karlis Skrastins and defenseman Rus-
lan Salei of Belarus.
A plane crash in 1950 near the Russian city of Sverd-
lovsk, now called Yekaterinburg, killed 13 players and of-
The crashed jet was built in 1993 and one of its three Russia was hoping to showcase Yaroslavl as a modern ficials in the Soviet air force’s ice hockey squad. A Munich
YAROSLAVL: Investigators on Thursday searched for engines was replaced a month ago, Deputy Transport Min- and vibrant city this week at an international forum attend- air crash in 1958 cost eight Manchester United players their
flight recorders in the shattered remains of an airliner that ister Valery Okulov told Russian media on Thursday. It ed by heads of state, including Russian President Dmitry lives.
crashed on the banks of the Volga River, killing 43 people is unclear whether technical failure played a role in the Medvedev, so the crash came as a particularly bitter blow. Russia on Thursday mourned the deaths of 43 people in-
including most of one of Russia’s premier hockey teams. crash, but the plane apparently struggled to gain altitude The forum is being held in the hockey arena. cluding top ice hockey players in a plane crash as President
The recorders could provide key information explaining and then hit a signal tower before breaking apart along Medvedev has announced plans to take aging Soviet- Medvedev planned visited the site of the disaster.
why the Yak-42 crashed just after takeoff Wednesday from the Volga. built planes out of service starting next year. The short- and The crash occurred on the eve of a scheduled visit by
the Yaroslavl airport, 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast Okulov said federal transportation authorities are con- medium-range Yak-42 has been in service since 1980 and Medvedev to the city to address a political conference, but
of Moscow. The Interstate Aviation Committee says the re- sidering whether to halt flights by Yak-42s, Okulov was about 100 are still being used by Russian carriers. now the Russian leader is also planning to tour the site of
corders are believed to be in the tail section of the jet, which quoted as saying by the state news agency RIA Novosti. The crash is one of the worst aviation disasters in sports the country’s latest transportation catastrophe.
is partly submerged in the river. There are 57 of the planes in service in Russia, the agency history. The 18-year-old plane with 45 people aboard crashed
The victims included 36 players, coaches and officials said. In past plane crashes involving sports teams, 75 Mar- shortly after take-off into a river in the small village of
of Yaroslavl Lokomotiv, which had been heading to Minsk, There were only two crash survivors and both were re- shall University football players, coaches, fans and airplane Tunoshna. The plane was headed to the Belarussian capital
Belarus to play its opening game of the Kontinental Hockey ported as being in serious condition on Thursday. crew died in West Virginia on Nov. 14, 1970, while returning Minsk where the team were to play their season opening
League season. Among the dead were Lokomotiv coach and NHL vet- from a game. Thirty-six of the dead were players. game.
On Thursday morning, hundreds of local residents gath- eran Brad McCrimmon, a Canadian; assistant coach Alex- Thirty members of a Uruguayan rugby club were killed By Thursday morning dozens of divers have pulled all
ered at the city’s Russian Orthodox cathedral to mourn ander Karpovtsev, one of the first Russians to have his name in a crash in the Andes in 1972. 43 bodies out of the water, a spokeswoman for the local
the victims. Many of them wore team scarves, some of the etched on the Stanley Cup as a member of the New York The entire 18-member US figure skating team died in emergencies services told AFP.
women using them to cover their heads as church ritual re- Rangers; and Pavol Demitra, who played for the St. Louis a crash on their way to the 1961 world championships in The two survivors - player Alexander Galimov and
quires. Blues and the Vancouver Canucks and was the Slovakian Brussels, and 18 members of the Torino soccer team died crew member Alexander Sizov - were in a grave condition.
In recent years, Russia and some other former Soviet national team captain. near Turin, Italy, in a 1949 crash. -AFP
Berlin police detain two terror suspects in bomb plot Hopes rise for release
BERLIN: Berlin police arrested two men Thursday
on suspicion of acquiring chemicals for a planned bomb of American jailed in Cuba
attack and searched a mosque in the German capital, a
spokesman told AFP.
The arrest of a 24-year-old German of Lebanese ori- New Mexico governor would not
gin and a 28-year-old from the Gaza Strip, comes ahead
of the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 at-
confirm nor say what he hoped to accomplish
tacks in the United States and a planned visit to Berlin
by Pope Benedict XVI later this month. HAVANA: A surprise visit by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has
Police raided the homes of the two men in the dis- revived hope Cuba may soon free a US government subcontractor whose im-
tricts of Kreuzberg and Neukoelln as well as a mosque in prisonment has snarled efforts to improve relations between the two countries.
the working class neighborhood of Wedding. A lawyer for Alan Gross, who is serving 15 years for illegally bringing communi-
The spokesman said authorities had been investigat- cations equipment to the island, said Richardson came Wednesday at Havana’s
ing for several months but declined to provide further invitation. The former governor would not confirm that in comments to The
details. Associated Press, nor say what he hoped to accomplish on the trip. Richardson,
A spokeswoman for the public prosecutor’s office said a former US ambassador to the United Nations, has a long history winning the
it had launched a probe against the men on “suspicion of release of prisoners and a close working relationship with Cuba’s leaders.
preparing a major violent crime against the state”. “I don’t have any comment,” a smiling Richardson said as he sipped a drink
Authorities say they had acquired several coolants and smoked a Cuban cigar on the wide terrace of Havana’s famous Nacional
and an acid normally used in farming with the aim of hotel. “Perhaps at the end of my stay.”
building an explosive, the daily Berliner Morgenpost re- The visit, which was kept under wraps until Richardson had landed, was the
ported. first sign that intensifying calls for the 62-year-old Gross’ release might bear fruit
The suspects regularly attended the mosque in Wed- after months of false hopes and bitter disappointment that have overwhelmed
ding and occasionally spent the night there, the news- efforts at improved relations between the two Cold War enemies.
paper said, adding that the probe began when the com- State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the Obama adminis-
panies where the chemicals were ordered reported the tration was aware of the trip and was in contact with Richardson.
suspicious purchases to police. German police officers stand in the street outside an Islamic cultural centre in Berlin, Sept. “While Gov. Richardson is traveling as a private citizen, we certainly sup-
Authorities declined to confirm this. -Reuters 8. (Reuters) port his efforts to obtain Alan Gross’ release,” she said. Gross has been jailed
since his arrest in December 2009. Cuba says he was distributing satellite tele-
phones and other communications equipment that are illegal to use without
authorization. It has also called the USAID-funded democracy program that he
NYPD not unfair in surveillance, says NYC mayor
was on a thinly veiled attempt at overthrowing the government.
Gross has said that he was only trying to help Cuba’s tiny Jewish community
improve Internet access, and that he had no desire to offend the country’s com-
munist government. In court testimony from March that was released last week
seek 18 more NEW YORK: New York Mayor Mi-
chael Bloomberg says the New York Police
Department’s surveillance of the city’s
consistent with the Constitution and with
people’s rights. We live in a dangerous
world, and we have to be very proactive
a list of 28 countries that, along with
“American Black Muslim,” it considered
to be “ancestries of interest.”
by his own lawyer, Gross described himself as a “trusting fool.”
“I was duped. I was used. And my family and I have paid dearly for this,”
the Maryland resident told the tribunal. The court was apparently unmoved,
suspects in ethnic neighborhoods had not unfairly
targeted any group in an effort to root
in making sure that we prevent terror-
ism,” he had said earlier in the day.
New York City’s Muslims - a group
that the mayor said tends to be well-ed-
convicting him of crimes against the Cuban state. The decision was later upheld
by the nation’s Supreme Court, leaving the American with no legal recourse.
out possible terror connections, and com- A number of advocates have ques- ucated and entrepreneurial - are support- That has led to growing appeals for Gross’ release on humanitarian grounds.
pared it to screening kids for measles. tioned whether the NYPD’s policies have ive of police presence, he said. Those who have met and spoken with him say Gross has lost 100 pounds while
An Associated Press investigation gone too far as the department put many “I think most Muslims want police in custody, and both his elderly mother and adult daughter are suffering from
found that NYPD dispatched undercover innocent people under scrutiny while protection. They don’t want their kids ... cancer, among other hardships the family has endured. Richardson was last in
MEXICO CITY: Mexican au- officers into ethnic communities to moni- hunting for terrorists. Several Muslim falling off the ... train and going down the Havana in August, when he met with Cuba’s foreign minister and appealed for
thorities have identified another tor daily life and scrutinized more than civil rights groups and a New York con- wrong path,” the mayor said. Gross’s release. A former US ambassador to the United Nations, Richardson has
18 suspects in a casino fire that 250 mosques and Muslim student groups gresswoman have urged the Department According to AP’s investigation, the experience winning prisoner releases. As a congressman in 1996, he secured the
killed 52 people last month and in the years after the Sept. 11 terrorist at- of Justice to investigate the department NYPD Intelligence Division used its list liberation of three island political prisoners during talks with Fidel Castro in
are offering 1.3 million US dollars tacks. for what critics see as racial profiling. of “ancestries of interest” to dispatch a Havana. Former US President Jimmy Carter also raised Gross’ case at the high-
for information leading to each of Bloomberg refused to comment di- Bloomberg said no one should gen- secret team of undercover officers into est levels of government during a trip to Havana in March. The former president
their arrests. rectly on the details of the AP’s investi- eralize about any group, but authorities ethnic communities to eavesdrop and was received warmly by Fidel and Raul Castro and was even allowed to talk
Federal prosecutor Jose Sali- gation. Later in an interview he said: “If must respond to the threat of criminal monitor daily life. The officers, known as with Gross in jail, but he left empty handed.
nas says the suspects are members there is a community where the crime activity. rakers, filed daily reports on what they Even before Gross was convicted, a senior State Department official said in
of the Zetas drug cartel. rate is very high, to not put more cops “What I find disgraceful is the auto- overheard. January that she had received assurances from the Cuban government that he
Salinas on Wednesday showed in that community is ridiculous. If you matic assumption that (in) any one re- The department also used undercover would soon be freed on humanitarian grounds. But optimism faded in recent
sketches of six of the suspects want to look for cases of measles, you’ll ligious group, everybody’s a terrorist. officers and informants to scrutinize more months, as Cuban prosecutors sought and then won a stiff jail sentence against
and identified them by their nick- find a lot more of them among young That’s not true. It is true that you can go to than 250 mosques and Muslim student the American. Gross’ lawyer, Peter J. Kahn, said he welcomed Richardson’s lat-
names. people. That’s not targeting young peo- certain places where people give sermons groups, according to documents and in- est visit, which he said was undertaken at the invitation of Cuban authorities.
A state police officer and five ple to go see whether they have measles and a lot of them are anti-American. But terviews with people involved in the He said he hoped it would lead to his client’s freedom. “We welcome any and all
alleged members of the Zetas or not.” that doesn’t mean that everybody is a ter- program. Mosques were singled out for dialogue that ultimately will result in Alan’s release,” Kahn said in a statement
have been arrested in the case. The mayor’s comments Wednesday rorist,” he said. further investigation based on suspected on behalf of Gross’ family. “We are grateful to Gov. Richardson for his continued
Gunmen entered the Casino offered a revealing glimpse into how “But if you’ve got a clergyperson criminal activity but also for conservative efforts. We hope that the governor and Cuban authorities are able to find com-
Royale in Monterrey on August Bloomberg believes the city’s law en- preaching anarchy, do you really think the Islamic beliefs, the documents show. At mon ground that will allow us to be reunited as a family.” However, two senior
25, spread gasoline and set the forcement officials should walk what he police department shouldn’t try to send least one business was flagged for having Cuban officials said they were unaware of the trip. “I know nothing about it,”
building on fire, trapping and as- says is a fine line - protecting the city somebody and listen and see if they’re a devout clientele. Parliament Chief Ricardo Alarcon, normally a leading voice on issues concern-
phyxiating dozens in what’s be- against attack while upholding constitu- trying to foment a riot? You can’t wait till All of this was done with unusually ing the United States, told the AP. Josefina Vidal, the Cuban Foreign Ministry’s
lieved to be a case of extortion. tional protections. the riot’s on the streets,” he said. close help from the CIA, in a relationship director of North American affairs, also said she had no information.
-Reuters “I believe we should do what we have The AP’s investigation found that the that at times blurred the line between do- “I’m not up on that,” she said. -AP
to do to keep us safe. And we have to be NYPD Intelligence Division maintained mestic and foreign spying. -AP