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    Prime Minister Theresa May faces growing pressure from within her own party either to resign or to set a date for stepping down as a way to build support for her Brexit agreement with the European Union, British media reported Sunday. Senior Conservative Party figures were urging May to recognize her weakened political position and leave the prime minister's post. However, there was no indication from Downing Street a resignation was near. May thus far has been unable to generate enough support in Parliament for the withdrawal deal her government and the EU reached late last year. Lawmakers voted down the Brexit plan twice, and May has raised the possibility of bringing it back a third time if enough legislators appear willing to switch their votes. The U.K.'s departure from the EU long was set to take place on March 29, but the absence of an approved divorce agreement prompted May last week to ask the leaders of the 27 remaining member nations for a postponement. The leaders rejected May's request to extend the deadline until June 30. Instead, they agreed to delay Brexit until May 22, on the eve of EU Parliament elections, if the prime minister can persuade Parliament to endorse the twice-rejected agreement. If she is unable to rally support for the withdrawal agreement, the European leaders said Britain only has until April 12 to choose between leaving the EU without a divorce deal and a radically new path, such as revoking the decision to leave the bloc or calling another voter referendum on Brexit. Parliament may take a series of votes this week to determine what proposals, if any, could command majority support. Conservative Party legislator George Freeman tweeted Saturday night that the U.K. needs a new leader if the Brexit process is to move forward. 'I'm afraid it's all over for the PM. She's done her best. But across the country you can see the anger. Everyone feels betrayed,' Freeman tweeted. 'This can't go on. We need a new PM who can reach out & build some sort of coalition for a Plan B/' Under Conservative Party rules, May cannot face a formal leadership challenge from within her own party until December because she survived one three months ago. But she may be persuaded that her position is untenable if Cabinet ministers and other senior party members desert her. Her bid for fresh support for her withdrawal plan has so far failed to win backing from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which usually provides crucial votes for May's minority government. She also faces pressure from groups demanding a second Brexit referendum. Huge crowds turned out Saturday for an anti-Brexit protest march in London. Organizers claimed more than 1 million people attended. ___ Follow AP's full coverage of Brexit at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit
  • Boeing on Saturday confirmed the flight-control software fixes that it plans to make for its grounded 737 Max 8, the plane involved in two fatal accidents within five months. The company is tweaking the system designed to prevent an aerodynamic stall if sensors detect that the plane's nose is pointed too high. After the update, the system will rely on data from more than one sensor before it automatically pushes the plane's nose lower. The system won't repeatedly push the nose down, and it will reduce the magnitude of the change. Boeing said it will pay to train airline pilots. The Federal Aviation Administration expects Boeing's update next week. The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that regulators tentatively approved Boeing's changes, subject to flight tests, citing government documents and people familiar with the details. FAA declined to comment. Airlines worldwide grounded the jet after the deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight this month. It came less than five months after 189 people died in the October crash of another Max 8 off the coast of Indonesia.
  • Brazilian mining giant Vale said Saturday that communities in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais have been ordered to evacuate after independent auditors found that one of its dams could collapse at any moment. On Friday, the company raised the level of risk at a mining waste dam in the city of Barao de Cocais to three, the highest grade. According to Brazil's mining and energy secretary, level three means that 'a rupture is imminent or already happening.' Residents in a 10-kilometre (6.2 miles) perimeter of the dam had already been told to leave by state authorities in February after Vale raised risk levels to grade two, a company spokesperson told the Associated Press Saturday. The Vale spokesperson, who asked not to be identified in line with company policy, said 442 people had been relocated in temporary housing or with family members since February. Lt. Col. Flavio Godinho, of the state's civil defense department, told reporters that authorities are studying the Barao de Cocais structure to review the existing contingency plan. 'Any activity at the dam could trigger a rupture,' Godinho said on Globo TV. The news comes nearly two months after another Vale-operated dam in the nearby city of Brumadinho collapsed, unleashing a wave of toxic mud that contaminated rivers and almost certainly killed about 300 people. The contamination of rivers with mining waste, or tailings, which contain high levels of iron-ore and other metals is of great concern and can last for years or even decades, experts say. Small residues of iron oxide eventually fall at the bottom of the riverbed and are brought up to the surface each time it rains heavily. Brazilian environmental group SOS Mata Atlantica said Friday it had proof of water contamination in the large Sao Francisco river as a result of the Brumadinho dam collapse. Hundreds of municipalities and larger cities such as Petrolina, 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) from Brumadinho, get drinking water from the Sao Francisco. Brazil's National Water Agency, which is carrying its own water tests, denied further contamination of the Sao Francisco river, according to Globo's news portal G1. SOS Mata Atlantica was among the environmental groups that studied the impact of another dam rupture also in Minas Gerais in 2015. The accident killed 19 people and thousands of fish and left 250,000 people without drinking water. Three years later, experts say the water in the nearby Doce River is still unfit for consumption. The type of structure used to hold back mining waste in Brumadinho was the same as the one currently in use in Barao de Cocais, which lies about 150 kilometers (93 miles) away. State authorities banned the construction last month, but companies were given 90 days to present plans to substitute the dams within three years. Vale said in a statement it was already in the process of replacing ten such dams.
  • Officials have no timetable for reopening a portion of the Houston Ship Channel, one of the busiest commercial waterways in the country, after another setback caused flammable chemicals to seep into the water near a fire-ravaged petrochemical tank farm, a Coast Guard commander said Saturday. Coast Guard Capt. Kevin Oditt said during a news conference that work was underway to contain and absorb benzene and other contaminants after a dike failed adjacent to the farm operated by the Intercontinental Terminals Company in Deer Park, southeast of Houston. The breach occurred Friday. As of early Saturday, more than 40 vessels — oil tankers, container ships and other crafts — were either trying to move south out of the channel or north toward awaiting terminals, according to Coast Guard petty officer Kelly Parker. The channel is a critical waterway that connects oil refineries between the Port of Houston and the Gulf of Mexico. ITC was planning Saturday to resume pumping some 20,000 barrels of product from a tank heavily damaged by the fire, which began Sunday, March 17, and was extinguished Wednesday, but flared again on two occasions. The most recent flare-up on Friday took an hour to suppress and disrupted the pumping, ITC executive Brent Weber said. The tanks that caught fire contained components of gasoline and materials used in nail polish remover, glues and paint thinner. Residents already alarmed by a large plume of black smoke that billowed for days from the farm were further shaken by an order Thursday to remain indoors after elevated levels of benzene were detected in the air. Schools in the region also were shuttered and waterfront parks were closed to the public as a precaution. The chemical evaporates quickly and can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, and headaches, with worse symptoms at higher levels of exposure. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against ITC, saying Friday that Texas had to hold the company 'accountable for the damage it has done to our environment.' The company has had a history of environmental violations, Paxton said. ITC spokeswoman Alice Richardson declined to comment on Paxton's claims, citing the pending litigation. Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton Jr. has spent days giving assurances that company and public officials are working in a transparent manner to provide the latest updates to anxious residents. 'Everything doesn't always work the way it's planned,' he told reporters Saturday. 'Everybody out here is doing the best they can,' Mouton said, later adding, 'They're trying to address every situation to the best of their ability.
  • Rescue workers off Norway's western coast rushed to evacuate 1,300 passengers and crew from a disabled cruise ship by helicopter on Saturday, winching them one-by-one to safety as heaving waves tossed the ship from side to side and high winds battered the operation. The Viking Sky issued a mayday call as bad weather hit and engine problems caused it to start drifting toward the rocky shore, the Norwegian newspaper VG reported. Police in the western county of Moere og Romsdal said the crew, fearing the ship would run aground, managed to anchor in Hustadvika Bay, between the Norwegian cities of Alesund and Trondheim, so the evacuations could take place. Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances, including gusts up to 38 knots (43 mph) and waves over 8 meters (26 feet). The area is known for its rough, frigid waters. Norwegian public broadcaster NRK said the Viking Sky's evacuation was a slow and dangerous process, as passengers needed to be hoisted one-by-one from the cruise ship to the five available helicopters. 'I was afraid. I've never experienced anything so scary,' Janet Jacob, among the first group of passengers evacuated to the nearby town of Molde, told NRK. She said her helicopter ride to safety came amid strong winds 'like a tornado,' prompting her to pray 'for the safety of all aboard.' The majority of the cruise ship passengers were reportedly British and American tourists. About 180 have been evacuated so far, according to rescue officials. Per Fjeld of the Joint Rescue Center Southern Norway said there is no danger to the remaining passengers and the airlift can accommodate all of them. He said the rescue will speed up when there is better light and the weather improves. Video and photos from people on the ship showed it heaving, with chairs and other furniture dangerously rolling from side to side. Passengers were suited up in orange life vests but the waves broke some ship windows and cold water flowed over the feet of some passengers. American passenger John Curry told NRK that he was having lunch as the cruise ship started to shake. 'It was just chaos. The helicopter ride from the ship to shore I would rather not think about. It wasn't nice,' Curry told the broadcaster. NRK said one 90-year-old-man and his 70-year-old spouse on the ship were severely injured but did not say how that happened. Later, reports emerged that a cargo ship with nine crew members was in trouble nearby, and the local Norwegian rescue service diverted two of the five helicopters working on the cruise ship to that rescue. Authorities told NRK that a strong storm with high waves was preventing rescue workers from using life boats or tug boats to take passengers ashore. Fjeld said rescuers were prioritizing the nine crew members aboard the Hagland Captain cargo ship, but later said they had all been rescued and the helicopters had returned to help the Viking Sky. He said that with two more of the Viking Sky's engines now in operation there is the possibility of sailing, though he would not say whether there is an intention of sailing to shore. Norwegian authorities said late Saturday that the evacuation of the Viking Sky would proceed all through the night into Sunday. The Viking Sky was on a 12-day trip that began March 14 in the western Norwegian city of Bergen, according to the cruisemapper.com website. The ship was visiting the Norwegian towns and cities of Narvik, Alta, Tromso, Bodo and Stavanger before its scheduled arrival Tuesday in the British port of Tilbury on the River Thames. The Viking Sky, a vessel with gross tonnage of 47,800, was delivered in 2017 to operator Viking Ocean Cruises. ___ Sheila Norman-Culp contributed from London.
  • Tens of thousands of people have marched in cities across Germany to protest planned European Union copyright reforms that they fear will lead to online censorship. The dpa news agency reports the biggest protest Saturday was in Munich, where 40,000 people marched under the motto 'save your internet.' Thousands of others took part in smaller demonstrations in the German cities of Cologne, Hamburg, Hannover, Berlin and other cities against the bill that is being voted on this week. The most controversial section would require companies such as YouTube and Facebook to take responsibility for copyrighted material that's uploaded to their platforms. Proponents say the new rules will help ensure authors, artists and journalists are paid. Opponents claim they could restrict freedom of speech, hamper online creativity and force websites to install filters.
  • It wasn't long after the atomic bomb was dropped on Japan and World War II ended that the United States began to realize it had to do something with the waste that was being generated by defense-related nuclear research and bomb-making that would continue through the Cold War — and indefinitely. Tainted with plutonium and other elements, the waste — gloves, clothing, tools and other materials — couldn't be left just anywhere, so it was decided that a repository would be dug deep into the desert in southeastern New Mexico. --- WHAT IS THE WASTE ISOLATION PILOT PLANT? WIPP is the United States' only permanent underground repository licensed to take what is known as transuranic waste, or waste generated by the nation's nuclear weapons program that's contaminated with radioactive elements heavier than uranium. There are a few other commercial facilities in the U.S. that accept low-level waste, but none involves hoisting the waste to such depths. Carved out of an ancient salt formation about half a mile (0.8 kilometers) deep, the subterranean landfill is located outside of Carlsbad, New Mexico, a once sparsely populated area that is now home to a major oil and gas boom. Following years of research, Congress initially mandated the construction of the repository as a research and development project. It's far beyond the experimental stage after 20 years of operation and more than 12,380 shipments. Packaged in drums, special boxes and other containers, the waste is placed inside a series of rooms that have been excavated out of the salt layer. Some waste has to be handled remotely and is placed in holes bored into the walls. When the rooms are full, they are sealed off. --- WHY NEW MEXICO? In the 1950s, some of the world's top scientific minds began to weigh the options for what to do with this waste. They concluded deep geologic repositories would be the best way to deal with materials that would take a very long time to decay. Initial efforts focused on an abandoned salt mine in central Kansas. Technical issues prompted a search for a more suitable site. The focus turned to New Mexico, where evaporation of the ancient Permian Sea eons ago had left behind a thick bed of salt. Scientists say the benefit of salt is it's nearly impermeable. And since the layer in southeastern New Mexico is so old and expansive, they consider it more stable. ___ IS WIPP SAFE? Government officials and nuclear experts say yes. Watchdog groups that monitor the federal government's nuclear weapons programs have other opinions and often cite safety lapses and instances over the decades in which radioactive materials have been mishandled. Their best evidence is a 2014 radiation release that forced the closure of the repository for nearly three years and led to sweeping policy changes. The release was the result of waste being inappropriately packaged at Los Alamos National Laboratory — the birthplace of the atomic bomb. Scientists, though, say disposing of the waste in the salt bed will keep it isolated from groundwater sources and the surface. The idea is the salt naturally creeps, healing its own fractures and filling in voids, so the waste will eventually be entombed. Critics say the creeping of the salt isn't always a gentle process, as the repository has documented numerous instances in which chunks of the ceiling have fallen in areas that haven't been maintained. ___ WHERE DOES THE WASTE COME FROM? More than a dozen national laboratories and government sites across the country package up waste and ship it to WIPP. The first shipment — two boxes from Los Alamos — arrived with much fanfare in the pre-dawn hours of March 26, 1999. Residents lined the streets in Carlsbad and waved flags as the truck rolled through. At the repository, hundreds of employees waited at the main gate for a moment some thought would never come. Idaho National Laboratory has sent more than 6,200 shipments to WIPP, followed by the Rocky Flats site outside of Denver. Waste also has come from the Hanford Site in Washington state and the Savannah River complex in South Carolina. Officials say more than 14 million miles (22.5 million kilometers) have been traveled by the transport trucks, with only some minor fender-benders. ___ WHAT'S BEING DONE TO MODERNIZE WIPP? Managers and workers at WIPP say they're still dealing with the effects of the 2014 release. Due to contamination of some of the underground disposal areas, workers have to wear protective suits and respirators. Adequate ventilation also is an issue. The price tag for installing a new ventilation system, sinking new shafts and making other improvements totals more than $500 million. Managers say the work is necessary and no different than someone sprucing up a 30-year-old home. Some of the earliest underground passages constructed at WIPP date back to 1983. Officials are also looking at replacing some of the equipment used for mining the salt and moving the waste. Options include more efficient diesel engines or electric-powered vehicles.
  • In a remote stretch of New Mexico desert, the U.S. government put in motion an experiment aimed at proving to the world that radioactive waste could be safely disposed of deep underground, rendering it less of a threat to the environment. Twenty years and more than 12,380 shipments later, tons of Cold War-era waste from decades of bomb-making and nuclear research across the U.S. have been stashed in the salt caverns that make up the underground facility . Each week, several shipments of special boxes and barrels packed with lab coats, rubber gloves, tools and debris contaminated with plutonium and other radioactive elements are trucked to the site. But the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has not been without issues. A 2014 radiation leak forced an expensive, nearly three-year closure, delayed the federal government's cleanup program and prompted policy changes at national laboratories and defense-related sites across the U.S. More recently, the U.S. Department of Energy said it would investigate reports that workers may have been exposed last year to hazardous chemicals. Still, supporters consider the repository a success, saying it provides a viable option for dealing with a multibillion-dollar mess that stretches from a decommissioned nuclear weapons production site in Washington state to one of the nation's top nuclear research labs, in Idaho, and locations as far east as South Carolina. If it weren't for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, many containers of plutonium-contaminated waste would be outside, exposed to the weather and susceptible to natural disasters, said J.R. Stroble, head of business operations at the Department of Energy's Carlsbad Field Office, which oversees the contractor that operates the repository. 'The whole purpose of WIPP is to isolate this long-lived radioactive, hazardous waste from the accessible environment, from people and the things people need in order to live life on Earth,' he told The Associated Press. Stroble and others in the communities surrounding the repository are steadfast in their conviction that the facility is a success. They point to 22 sites around the nation that have been cleaned up as a result of having somewhere to put the waste — including Rocky Flats, a former nuclear weapons plant outside Denver that had a history of leaks, spills and other violations. For critics, that success is checkered at best since the repository is far from fulfilling its mission. 'It's 80 percent through its lifetime, and it has disposed of less than 40 percent of the waste and has cost more than twice as much as it was supposed to,' said Don Hancock with the watchdog group Southwest Research and Information Center. 'How great of a success is that?' Officials initially thought the facility would operate for about 25 years. Rather than wrapping up in the next few years, managers have bumped the timeline to 2050. The repository was carved out of an ancient salt formation about a half-mile (0.8 kilometer) below the surface, with the idea that the shifting salt would eventually entomb the radioactive waste. It was the National Academy of Sciences in the 1950s that first recommended disposing of atomic waste in deep geologic formations. Scientists began taking a hard look at the New Mexico site about two decades later. The scientists had to convince themselves and then federal regulators that it was safe. One of their tasks was determining that the ancient seawater trapped between the salt crystals and bound up in thin bands of clay within the salt deposit would pose no problems thousands of years later. 'It was exciting to be working on what was then going to be the world's first deep-geologic repository for that class of waste,' said Peter Swift, a senior scientist at Sandia National Laboratories. 'Nothing that radioactive had been put that deep underground before. And that's still true 20 years later.' While the real test will be what happens generations from now, Swift is confident in the science behind the project. But the wild card in whether the repository is ultimately deemed a success will be the human factor. After all, missteps by management were blamed for the 2014 radiation release. With some areas permanently sealed off due to contamination, more mining will have to be done to expand capacity. The federal government also is spending more than a half-billion dollars to install a new ventilation system, sink more shafts and make other upgrades aimed at returning to 'normal business.' Hancock and some former elected leaders involved in early discussions about the facility worry about the subterranean landfill becoming a dumping ground for high-level waste or commercial nuclear waste. But it would take an act of Congress to expand the repository's mission, and getting consent from New Mexico's delegates would be a tall order since the federal government still has no long-term plan for dealing with such waste. Nevada's proposed Yucca Mountain project is mothballed, and no other permanent disposal proposals are on the table. Toney Anaya, who served as New Mexico governor in the 1980s, remembers the heated debates about bringing more radioactive waste to the state. He said there were concerns about safety, but the promise of jobs was attractive. Some also argued New Mexico had a moral obligation given its legacy of uranium mining and its role in the development of the atomic bomb. Another former governor, Bill Richardson, was on both sides of the tug of war — first as a young Democratic congressman who wanted to impose environmental standards and keep 18-wheelers loaded with waste from passing through the heart of Santa Fe. Then, he became U.S. energy secretary during the Clinton administration and pressured the state to clear the way for the repository to open. 'For New Mexico, we've done our share of storing waste, and we've done it safely and effectively,' Richardson said. 'It's provided jobs, but I just think the future of the state is not nuclear.' Southeastern New Mexico's ties to nuclear run deep and will continue for at least the next 30 years under the plans being charted now. Robust state regulation will be key in ensuring responsible management going forward, said Hancock, with the watchdog group. The problem, he said, is that besides the Cold War-era waste that has yet to be dealt with, the federal government and nuclear power plants keep generating more. 'We need to decide what our capacities are actually going to be — how much nuclear power waste are we going to create, how much nuclear weapons waste are we going to create — so that we can then put our arms around the problem,' Hancock said.
  • Parties involved in a dispute over whether North Dakota regulators should be involved in the siting of an oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park have filed their initial legal arguments in state court. Here's a look at the dispute over the $800 million Davis Refinery being built by Meridian Energy. THE REFINERY Meridian wants to build the project just 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the park that's the state's top tourist attraction, drawing more than 700,000 visitors annually. The company says the facility will be the 'cleanest refinery on the planet,' a model for future plants and a boost for the area economy. Environmental groups worry pollution will erode air quality at the park and mar its majestic scenery. Meridian began site work last summer and plans to resume construction this spring with a goal of having the refinery fully operating by mid-2021. HOW MUCH OIL? The amount of oil Meridian says it will process at the refinery is central to why North Dakota regulators never considered the appropriateness of the site. Under state law, oil refineries with a capacity of 50,000 or more barrels daily need to obtain a site permit from the Public Service Commission, a process that involves public hearings and can take half a year or longer to complete. Meridian initially told the media, investors and government officials that the refinery would have a capacity of 55,000 barrels, but the company later lowered the figure to 49,500. THE LEGAL CHALLENGE The Environmental Law and Policy Center and the Dakota Resource Council believe Meridian pulled a fast one. The groups criticized the commission for trusting the company and appealed to district court. WHAT DO THE ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS SAY? In their initial argument filed late last month, the groups say they haven't even been given an opportunity to make their case in a formal hearing. They want a chance to question Meridian CEO William Prentice about an affidavit he signed last August saying the company has 'no current plans' for any expansion beyond 49,500 barrels per day. 'This statement flatly contradicted all publicly available information,' their attorneys wrote. They offer a hypothetical comparison of an assault suspect getting off scot-free simply by signing an affidavit saying, 'I didn't touch him.' They go on to say, 'This isn't a question of jurisdiction; it is a question of disputed material fact.' They want a judge to send the case back to the commission with orders for a hearing. WHAT'S THE COMMISSION'S POSITION? The agency contends it's following state law and that 'the only disputed fact seems to be over Meridian's sincerity.' In her initial court filing this month, Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Verleger turned to the silver screen to bolster her argument. 'In the movie 'Minority Report,' police arrest perpetrators before they commit their crimes, based solely on the premonitions of psychics,' she wrote. 'In this case, the environmental appellants are the psychics asking PSC to take action against Meridian because they allege Meridian 'will soon' violate' the law. Verleger argued that a hearing will not help 'predict the future' and that the commission 'must take Meridian at its word.' WHAT'S MERIDIAN'S TAKE? Meridian has denied trying to skirt state law, and in its initial legal filing accused the environmental groups of yet another effort to 'stymie progress' on the refinery. The groups have unsuccessfully sued over the project's county permit and state air quality permit, and now seek to 'conduct overly broad and invasive discovery on irrelevant issues,' Meridian attorney Lawrence Bender wrote. He argued that granting the environmental groups a PSC hearing 'based upon their own speculation' would support their 'fishing expedition' and create a giant legal loophole for opponents of future projects. ___ Follow Blake Nicholson on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/NicholsonBlake
  • The warning and training requirements set for the now-grounded 737 Max 8 aircraft may not have been adequate, in light of the Ethiopian plane crash that killed 157 people, the chief of Ethiopian Airlines said Saturday. After the Lion Air crash off Indonesia in October, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing 'came up with contents that we incorporated in our working manuals and also briefed all our pilots. But today we believe that might not have been enough,' Tewolde Gebremariam told The Associated Press in an interview in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. Ethiopian Airlines insists the carrier's pilots went through all the extra training required by Boeing and the FAA to fly the 737 Max 8 jet. The March 10 crash killed people from 35 countries. FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford declined to comment, citing an open investigation. Boeing on Saturday detailed planned flight-control software fixes for the plane and said it will pay to train airline pilots. Gebremariam said earlier in the week that the training was meant to help crews shift from an older model of the 737 to the Max 8, which entered airline service in 2017. In a statement, he said pilots were also made aware of an emergency directive issued by the FAA after the Lion Air crash, which killed 189 people. Ethiopian Airlines has said there is a 'clear similarity' between the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes, citing preliminary information from the flight data recorder. Although the causes of the crashes haven't been determined, investigators in the Lion Air disaster have focused on an automated system designed to use information from two sensors to help prevent a dangerous aerodynamic stall. It is not known whether the same flight-control system played a role in the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines jet shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, but regulators say both planes had similar erratic flight paths, an important part of their decision to ground the roughly 370 Max planes around the world. Both planes flew with erratic altitude changes that could indicate the pilots struggled to control the aircraft. Shortly after their takeoffs, both crews tried to return to the airports but crashed. The New York Times reported on Wednesday that the pilots of the doomed Ethiopian plane never trained in a simulator for the Max. Gebremariam, the Ethiopian Airlines CEO, said Saturday that 'it wouldn't have made any difference' as the 737 Max simulator isn't designed to imitate problems in the new jet's flight-control software. He still didn't say whether the pilots had trained on the simulator. Boeing's planned software update for the Max must 'address the problem 100 percent before we return the aircraft to air,' he said, noting that the airline hasn't made a decision on whether or not to cancel orders for Max jets. Ethiopian Airlines is widely seen as Africa's best-managed airline. The carrier had been using five of the Max planes and was awaiting delivery of 25 more.

News

  • Two men are accused to stealing more than $70,000 worth of musical instruments from the University of Louisville’s School of Music, WLKY reported. >> Read more trending news  Alphonso Monrew, 22, and Anthony Abrams, 52, were arrested Thursday, according to Jefferson County Jail records. Each were charged with two counts of third degree burglary and two counts of theft by unlawful taking, the television station reported. According to police, on several occasions the two men stole instruments, including a $10,000 guitar, from the university’s music school, WLKY reported. The thefts occurred over several weeks, the television station reported. All of the instruments have been recovered and will be returned to students, police said.
  • A Texas woman got an early start to celebrating her 105th birthday, joining more than 150 family members for a party at a San Antonio church, KSAT reported. >> Read more trending news  Minnie McRae, who turns 105 on Tuesday, was the guest of honor at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church on Saturday, the television station reported. McRae’s nephew, Arturo Ayala, flew from Germany to attend the party for a woman who taught him how to dance by giving him lessons in her living room, KSAT reported.  Ayala said he believes he knows the secret to his aunt’s long life 'She's never shared it, but from my relationship with her, I see her always praying and ... always reading,' Ayala told the television station.  Ayala also said McRae was very spiritual and did work with Incarnate Word. 'She's a blessing and she's a miracle,' Ayala told KSAT.
  • There will be laughing, singing, and music swinging when singer Martha Reeves receives another honor in May. >> Read more trending news  Reeves, 77, the lead vocalist of 1960s group Martha and Vandellas, will be honored by the Alabama State Council on the Arts on May 22, AL.com reported. Reeves was the singer for the group’s hits, including “Dancing in the Streets,” “Heat Wave” and “Jimmy Mack.” Reeves, a native of Eufaula, will receive Alabama’s 2019 Distinguished Artist Award. The award recognizes “a professional artist who is considered a native or adopted Alabamian and who has earned significant national acclaim for their art over an extended period,' according to the council’s website. Other recipients of the award include Jim Nabors, Fannie Flagg and George Lindsey. Vandella moved to Detroit as a child and grew up singing in church, AL.com reported. Her gospel-influenced vocals were evident in the group’s pop and rhythm and blues songs, which gave the Vandellas a string of hits on the Motown label. Reeves was inducted with the group -- Rosalind Ashford-Holmes, Annette Sterling-Helton, Lois Reeves and Betty Kelly -- into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. “Martha and the Vandellas were the Supremes’ tougher, more grounded counterpart,” the Rock Hall website says. “With her cheeky, fervent vocals, Martha Reeves led the group in a string of dance anthems that are irresistible to this day.” Reeves was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1995. 
  • A Florida deputy was arrested after an altercation at a Jacksonville nightclub, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office reported. >> Read more trending news  According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Officer Rodney Bryant, a 5 1/2-year member of the department, was involved in a dispute Friday at Mascara's Gentlemen's Club with his girlfriend and her friend.  Bryant has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He has been terminated from his position in the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. According to deputies, the group left the club but the dispute continued in a vehicle. This was when Bryant allegedly pulled over, opened the trunk of his vehicle and pulled out a firearm.  Bryant allegedly pointed the gun at the two women, making threats, according to the Sheriff’s Office.  They were all pulled over long enough for the girlfriend's friend to make contact with her sister, who later arrived at the scene, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The girl's sister observed Bryant with the firearm making threats and that he pointed the firearm at her, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
  • A Marine killed in action during the Vietnam War nearly 50 years ago was honored in a memorial service Saturday, and a headstone and plaque were erected at his gravesite at a South Florida cemetery, the Sun-Sentinel reported. >> Read more trending news  Private First Class Gregory Carter was killed in action Oct. 12, 1969, in the Quang Ngai province of South Vietnam, according to according to a Vietnam military casualties database on Ancestry.com. He was remembered in a service attended by nearly 200 people Saturday at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Fort Lauderdale, the Sun-Sentinel reported. “It’s like he woke up to the world again,” Carter’s brother, Anthony Owens, told the newspaper. “His life is meaningful. It means something.” “No, I did not (expect this many people). It raised our spirits, big time.” Carter laid in an unmarked grave until the Vietnam Veterans of America discovered him while searching for photographs of Vietnam veterans to place on the black granite Wall of Faces in Washington, D.C., the Sun-Sentinel reported. Carter was drafted into the Marines on July 4, 1969, when he was 19, according to the Ancestry.com database. He already had a young son and a daughter was on the way, but Carter would never know either of them, the newspaper reported. The Vietnam Veterans of America worked with the city of Fort Lauderdale and others to get Carter’s grave marker, the Sun-Sentinel reported. The organization also secured a photograph from a baseball team photograph in the Dillard High School yearbook, the newspaper reported. Gregory Carter now lies with his mother, grandparents, three siblings and other relatives at Sunset Memorial Gardens. “If you die you’re just lost until somebody thinks about you again,” Anthony Owens told the Sun-Sentinel. “So his spirit is probably all around us right now. It’s a good thing. He’s doing good.”
  • The wife of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was bitten by a rattlesnake at their Arizona home Friday, the Arizona Republic reported. >> Read more trending news  Ava Arpaio was working on her computer in her office around 10 a.m. when the snake bit her on the left foot, Joe Arpaio told the newspaper. 'She's tough. If she can put up with me for 60 years, then she can handle a snake bite,' Joe Arpaio told the Republic. Joe Arpaio, 86, said the large rattlesnake was removed by fire crews. 'Must've been a Democrat,' the longtime Republican joked to the Republic. Ava Arpaio likely will be in a hospital for 'two or three' days, her husband told the newspaper. Arpaio served as sheriff of Maricopa County for 24 years until losing re-election to Democrat Paul Penzone in 2016. The 86-year-old lawman made national news for his Tent City Jail where inmates were housed in Korean War era army tents, KSAZ reported. >> President Trump pardons Joe Arpaio Joe Arpaio was convicted of a criminal charge in July 2017 for refusing to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants. He was pardoned a month later by President Donald Trump.