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Air Crash In Ethiopia: What The Pilot Said Before The Tragedy

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Ethiopian Airlines

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on the Addis Ababa-Nairobi route crashed early Sunday morning shortly after take-off and the 157 people, many of them foreigners, who were on board died in the accident.

“The group’s CEO, who is currently at the accident site, regrets to confirm that there are no survivors,” said Ethiopian Airlines.

The statement is accompanied by a photo of the CEO in the middle of an overturned crater, dug by the crash and dotted with personal belongings and debris.

The victims of the crash were of 32 different nationalities, the company said. It included 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, 9 Ethiopians, 8 Italians, 8 Chinese, 8 Americans, 7 French, 7 British, 6 Egyptians, 5 Dutch and 4 Indians.

On-site, an AFP team noted the deployment of military and police officers, as well as the presence of an investigation team from the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Agency. Plainclothes police banned AFP from taking pictures of the site.

The aircraft took off at 08:38 (05H38 GMT ) from Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa. The pilot reported “difficulties” soon after and asked to return to Addis, told the press the company’s CEO.

“Difficulties”

“The pilot mentioned that he had difficulties and he wanted to return” and “he was allowed” to turn around and go back to Addis Ababa, said CEO Tewolde GebreMariam, when a press conference in Addis Ababa.

The plane was scheduled to land in Nairobi around 10:30 am (0730 GMT ). The weather was good Sunday morning in Addis Ababa. The plane crashed in the Bishoftu region in the Oromia region, sixty kilometers south of Addis Ababa.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a tweet “to express deep condolences to the families of those who lost their beloved loved ones on the scheduled flight of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 to Nairobi, Kenya, this morning”.

“We are saddened by the news that an Ethiopian Airlines airliner crashed six minutes after takeoff to Nairobi. My prayers go to all the families and relatives of those on board, “Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said.

Boeing said it was “deeply saddened to learn of the disappearance of Ethiopian Airlines 302 passengers and crew”, in a statement that a technical team was available to assist the investigation.

For its part, Ethiopian Airlines has opened a passenger information center and a phone number for relatives of people who may have been on board the plane. On his Twitter account, the bright colors of the company have been replaced by black and white.

At Nairobi International Airport ( JKIA ), passengers’ relatives were picked up at a hotel located within the airport compound.

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Canadian Government Pledges $15M in Federal Music Funding

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The Canadian government will allocate 20 million Canadian dollars ($14.96 million at current rates) to the Canadian Music Fund (CMF) over two years, it announced Tuesday with its 2019 federal budget.

“With the growing importance of digital media today, Canadian artists—especially musicians and music entrepreneurs (e.g., producers, agents)—now face the challenge of marketing their content internationally and across all platforms, while also putting a greater emphasis on touring and live performances,” the budget report reads.

The CA$20 million increase is intended “to address some of the challenges faced by Canadian musicians in the digital era” so that “the Fund can enhance its support for the production, promotion and distribution of Canadian music.”

The passage adds: “For musical artists, these investments will create greater opportunities to innovate and experiment on a wider range of digital and non-digital platforms. This, combined with enhanced support for promotion—including more touring and more modern marketing approaches—will ensure that Canadian music reaches more audiences at home and abroad.”

Representatives of national music associations were swift in their praise — a contrast to last year, when the federal budget failed to mention any support for the Canada Music Fund. In 2016, the government committed CA$4.2 million ($3.14 million) to the music sector over two years. Now, with this new allotment, according to the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA), adds to the momentum of that 2016 investment, supporting a program that has been “underfunded and over-subscribed for the past decade.”

“We are incredibly grateful to the Federal government and specifically our dedicated advocate, Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, for showing their support of our industry,” said CIMA president Stuart Johnston in a statement. “We are keen to continue to work closely with government to ensure that these dollars are invested in the most impactful way, such as providing additional support for sound recording, international export opportunities, promotion, marketing, touring and showcasing, and the domestic development of our great artists.”

The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) called the announcement “good news” in its press release, noting other increases to the arts in the budget, such as CA$16 million ($11.97 million) over two years to the Canada Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF) and $CA24 million ($17.96 million) over two years to the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program and the Celebration and Commemoration Program.

The CAPF program, according to the CLMA, “may positively impact” many of the association’s not-for-profit members. “Thanks to the program, our members ensure ‘homegrown talent’ can be discovered, in our own backyards. Export strategies rely on that career growth that comes from domestic touring and local audience development. The touring landscape in Canada is, among many things, an important breeding ground for the creation (and ultimately, global dissemination) of Canadian content,” said CLMA president and CEO Erin Benjamin.

With these new funding commitments, the total support to the Canadian music industry by the Government of Canada is CA$40.7 million ($30.44 million).

“Music Canada welcomes the Government of Canada’s increased funding to the Canada Music Fund and Canada Arts Presentation Fund as part of today’s budget announcement, but there remains much work to be done to address the Value Gap hurting the music sector,” said Graham Henderson, president and CEO of Music Canada, in a statement. “For labels and artists to be competitive and financially successful, they need a sustainable business framework.”

He continued, “Recently the United States and the European Union have taken steps to address the Value Gap. Canada has an opportunity to join the community of nations in protecting and fostering the careers of creators. During the Copyright Act review, the creative community was virtually unanimous in urging the government to repeal decades-old subsidies through which individual creators enrich billion dollar technology and broadcasting platforms. We sincerely look forward to working with the government to seize this opportunity while concluding the review of the Copyright Act.”

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More Than 70 Passengers Dead In Tamale-Kintampo Accident This Dawn

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More than 70 passengers on board two buses that collided head-on in the early hours of Friday, March 22, 2019, on the Tamale-Kintampo Highway have died instantly, we can confirm.

The accident occurred at Amoma Nkwanta, a village near Kintampo in the Kintampo North Municipality of the Bono East Region, along the main Kintampo-Tamale Highway.

It is has been confirmed that a VVIP Kia bus with registration number GT 3915- 17 from Garu in the Upper East Region heading towards Kumasi collided with a Grandbird bus with registration number GT 5694-18 from Accra which was heading towards Bolgantaga also in the Upper East Region.

It is unclear what might have caused the collision but it is speculated that one of the drivers might have been dozing off and run into the lane of the other from the opposite direction.

All passengers, including that onboard one of the buses which was en route from Garu and bound for Kumasi, have been burnt beyond recognition when the vehicle went up in flames soon after the crash

The other bus branded VVIP and painted red, veered into a ditch after the collision, killing dozens on board.

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Passengers Life At Risk As Unhealthy “Trotro” Cars Hits Osu, Mamobi, Nima Etc Roads

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Passengers Life At Risk As Unhealthy “Trotro” Cars Hits Osu, Mamobi, Nima Etc Roads

The life of a traveler is always in the hands of a driver even though God is the ultimate controller. The probability of getting stuck on the road when joining some passenger (trotro) Ghana Accra is high due to the state of the vehicles.

Research conducted by our source shows that vehicles used by some drivers are not healthy enough to be on the road but how did they get clearance from GPRTU? A trip to Osu, Mamobi, Nima and few to mention were notable places in the capital where these vehicles are seen as normal vehicles to be used in conveying passengers.

Our first encounter started from the Madina to Nungua station where a driver has to join 2 cables before sparking his car. This got our reporter wondering why should it be so? Prior to this, an incident happened on Circle- Botwe (UPSA curve) road where due to illegal connection, the front headlight stopped working and all of a sudden smokes filled the car in less than 1 minute. Our reporter who happened to sit in front that evening has to jump through the window to save his own life. The unapologetic conductor and his driver always seem to be comfortable and shout back at passengers wherever these claims are made.

The GPRTU which is a general union looking after these issues seems to be unconcerned with these claims. The leaders are not ready and will not entertain any question on these issues. Interesting, the police are also not too concerned about this.

Our second encounter was fun even though it was risky. The vehicle stopped in the middle of the road almost 5 times before we reached our destination (Mamobi). Furious passengers got down and joined different cars as we the strong hearted continued the journey until we finally arrived at the lorry park. Upon arrival, we went straight to the station masters office only to be told he is not around. Caretaker upon seeing our facial looks hinted his boss that there was a fire in the mountain. We waited till we could see we are tired. Any attempt to trap him was not working as he was directed not to answer any question.

Over the past few years, statistics show that accident rates are always increasing instead of finding measures to help decrease it. In 2017,2,527 accidents were recorded while it increased to 2,970 in 2018 signifying a 17% increase. I urge the government to prompt these unions and security services to take the challenge and stop some vehicles from operating as a commercial transport. Let’s join hands in doing this as citizens but not because of our stomach.

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