October 2018 | 上海夜生活,上海夜生活网,上海夜网论坛

Afghan Taliban delegation visits Uzbekistan to talk security, power…

KABUL ( ) – A delegation from the Afghan Taliban met officials in Uzbekistan during a five-day trip to the country last week to discuss issues including transport and power lines and peace爱上海419 in Afghanistan, the movement’s political office said.

Muhammad Sohail Shaheen, spokesman for the Taliban’s political office, said on Saturday Taliban representatives met Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdul Aziz Kamilov and Special Representative for Afghanistan Ismatulla Irgashev during the Aug. 6-10 visit.

He said they “discussed current and future national projects such as security for railroad and power lines.”

“Views were also exchanged with officials of Uzbekistan about the withdrawal of foreign forces and how to achieve peace in Afghanistan,” he said.

The statement, issued as Taliban fighters were battling government forces for control of the central city of Ghazni, adds to a mixed series of signals since an unexpected three-day truce during the Eid al-Fitr holiday in June.

Taliban representatives have met U.S. officials to talk about the framework for possible peace talks and the Western-backed government is considering offering a second ceasefire during the Eid al-Adha holiday later this month.

But at the same time, fierce fighting has continued in different parts of Afghanistan, inflicting heavy casualties on soldiers and police and threatening the security of parliamentary elections scheduled in October.

The attack on Ghazni, which controls a vital highway between the capital Kabul and southern Afghanistan, has given the insurgents their highest profile success since they came close to taking the western city of Farah in May.

The rail and power links from Uzbekistan are vital both for cross-border trade and for maintaining Afghanistan’s shaky power supplies, which are already subject to frequent blackouts.

The Taliban, fighting to topple the Western-backed government and dri,上海夜生活论坛Tamra,ve out international forces, have generally refrained from sabotaging vital infrastructure and have sought to reassure neighboring countries about their aims.

A senior Taliban official said the m,上海夜生活桑拿会所Mace,ovement had established a political office in the Uzbek capital Tashkent aimed at developing better ties and showing that they did not intend to support local insurgent groups.

Written by shyw on October 10, 2018 Categories: cibkxmrbgx Tags: , ,

Russia, Iran, and three others agree Caspian status, but not borders

AKTAU, Kazakhstan ( ) – Iran and four ex-Soviet nations, including Russia, agreed in principle on Sunday how to divide up the potentially huge oil and gas resources of the Caspian Sea, paving way for more energy exploration and pipeline projects.

However, the delimitation of the seabed – which has caused most disputes – will require additional agreements between littoral nations, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said.

For almost three decades, the five littoral states – Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan – have argued over how to divide the world’s biggest enclosed body of water.

And while some countries have pressed ahead with large offshore projects such as the Kashagan oil field off Kazakhstan’s coast, disagreement over the sea’s legal status has prevented some other ideas from being implemented.

One of those is a pipeline across the Caspian which could ship natural gas from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan and then further to Europe, allowing it to compete with Russia in the Western markets.

Some littoral states have also disputed the ownership of several oil and g,上海夜生活论坛Idaia,as fields, which delayed their development.

“We have established 15-mile-wide territorial waters whose borders become state borders,” Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev told a briefing after signing the Caspian convention.

“Adjacent to the territorial waters are 10 miles of fishing water where each state has exclusive fishing rights,” he said.

Nazarbayev also said the convention explicitly barred any armed presence on the Caspian Sea other than that of the littoral states.


The dispute began with the fall of the Soviet Union which had had a clearly defined Caspian border with Iran. In negotiations with post-Soviet nations, Tehran has insisted on either splitting the sea into five equal parts or jointly developing all of its resources.

None of its neighbors have agreed to those proposals and three of them – Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan – effectively split the northern Caspian between each other using median lines.

Azerbaijan, however, has yet to agree on how to divide several oil an上海龙凤419d gas fields with Iran and Turkmenistan, including the Kapaz/Serdar field with reserves of some 620 million barrels of oil.

The three countries have tried to develop the disputed fields while at times using warships to scare off contractors hired by other sides. As a result, none of the disputed projects has made much progress.

Speaking after the signing on Sunday, all five leaders praised it as historic event, but provided little detail about provisions on splitting the seabed.

However, making it clear that the document is no final solution, Rouhani said border delimitation would require further work and separate agreements, although the convention would serve as a basis for that.


Moscow has no outstanding territorial disputes but has objected, citing environmental concerns, to the construction of a natural gas pipeline between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan which would allow Turkmen gas to bypass Russia on its way to Europe.

It remained unclear whether the convention adopted on Sunday would definitely clear a way for the pipeline. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said the document all,上海夜网Eliza,owed pipelines to be laid as long as certain environmental standards were met.

Ashley Sherman, principal Caspian analyst at energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie, said that although the signing itself was “an unprecedented milestone” for the region, the immediate implications for the energy sector would be limited.

“We consider a Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP) unlikely, even in the longer term”, he said in an email. “Clarity on the legal status will shine more light on the commercial and strategic obstacles to a TCGP, from infrastructure constraints to supply competition, not least from Azerbaijan itself.”

In the upstream sector, the increasing intent for joint projects in the south Caspian is very promising, Sherman said.

“Stranded fields and frozen exploration projects may well come back on the agenda,” he said.

However, with offshore Caspian oil and gas production already almost at 2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, the impact from new fields – if and when disputes about their ownership are settled – might be limited.

“The scale of the projects in disputed waters is not comparable to the existing super-giant fields, from Azeri Chirag Guneshli and Shah Deniz in Azerbaijan to Kashagan in Kazakhstan,” Sherman said.

Indian PM Modi confident of bigger win in 2019 elections: Times of…

MUMBAI ( ) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he would be re-elected with an even bigger majority in parliament in 2019, dismissing opposition attempts to rouse opinion against his governmen,上海夜网Effie,t for failing to deliver on promises of swift economic development and more jobs for young people.

Modi told the Times of India in an interview published on Sunday that his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government is committed to improving the lives of all citizens regardless of faith.

Concerns have grown that his administration has been unable to rein in right-wing fringe groups that are trying to undermine India’s secular constitution by targeting the nation’s large Muslim minority.

“We will definitely get more seats than we got the last time and I am confident that we will break all records of the seats won by NDA (National Democratic Alliance) in the past and achieve greater glory.

“The people are with us and we have nothing to fear,” Modi told the newspaper in an email interview.

Opinion polls show he remains the front runner to win another five-year term, but the party has suffered reverses in some local elections in the past few months that have energized the opposition.

The BJP failed to win power in southern Karnataka in May, the first big state to elect a new assembly this year in a contest widely seen as a test of its popularity after four years in office. It also lost a few races in the big heartland state爱上海 of Uttar Pradesh in the north.

But Modi said voters wanted a strong and decisive central government to deliver on India’s promise as a big economy and one of the potential drivers of global growth.

“My platform will be development, fast development and development for all…We have worked very hard in the last four years and we will go to the people with our track record of development,” Modi said.

The opposition, led by the Congress party, is trying to pull together a grand alliance of regional parties and even communist groups to mount a joint campaign against Modi, who is seen as a divisive figure pushing a partisan, Hindu-first agenda.

Attacks on Muslims who are engaged in the cattle trade by Hindu vigilante groups who are opposed to the slaughter of cows have fueled fears that the government is either unable or unwilling to restr,上海夜生活Natalia,ain them.

Modi’s party denies any bias against Muslims and he told the Times of India that his government believes in equality in the rule of law for all citizens.

The BJP won 282 seats in the 2014 general election, giving it a simple majority in the lower house of Parliament. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 336 seats out of 543.

The opposition last month moved a no-confidence vote against the government but Modi easily survived thanks to his parliamentary majority.

    For the full interview, see: bit.ly/2OsgfDC

Intense fighting as Taliban presses to take Afghan city

KABUL ( ) – Taliban insurgents attacked police headquarters and other government buildings in Ghazni in central Afghanistan on Sunday, killing dozens of soldiers and police and threatening to seize control of the city, officials and residents said.

U.S. aircraft conducted at least four air strikes but details of the fighting were unclear as most of the city’s telecoms masts were destroyed in fighting over recent days.

A senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said around 80 members of the security forces, as well as an unknown number of civilians had been killed.

Mohammad Sharif Yaftali, Afghan army chief of staff, said the city was not under threat of collapse and heavy fighting was underway to 上海龙凤419push back the Taliban from the city limits.

“Strategic locations and centers in the city are under the control of Afghan forces and the Taliban are hiding inside people’s homes and shops and resisting,” Yaftali told reporters at a news conference in Kabul.

But lawmakers from Ghazni who managed to talk to some residents said the Taliban were in control of much of the city after launching an initial attack in the early hours of Friday.

“Only the governor’s office, police headquarters and intelligence agency’s compound are in the hands of the government and Taliban are pushing to take them,” said Chaman Shah Ehtemadi, a lawmaker from Ghazni.

The attack, the heaviest blow struck by the Taliban since they came close to overrunning the western city of Farah in May, dampened hopes of peace talks which had grown since a surprise three-day truce during the Eid al-Fitr holiday in June.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgents had taken the district center of Khwajaum,上海夜生活桑拿会所Barron,ari, north of the city, and several areas in other districts of Ghazni province. Many members of the security forces had surrendered, he said.

Local officials have warned for months that Ghazni, a city on the main highway linking Kabul with Afghanistan’s south, was under threat, with the Taliban in control of most of the surrounding province.

Mohammad Rahim Hasanyar, a member of the provincial council, said heavy fighting was continuing in several areas of the city and Afghan forces were in defense mode.

“No one knows what the exact situation is because there is no communication service,” he said.


With the highway heavily mined to prevent reinforcements from arriving, residents were largely trapped inside but some who managed to escape across fields on the city’s periphery said many government buildings were ablaze.

“There was burning and fire and dead bodies everywhere in the city,” Abdul Wakil, a resident who escaped, told at a checkpoint into Kabul.

The Red Cross said on Twitter that it was watching the situation closely. It had supplied body bags to the provincial hospital and was ready to provide more assistance.

President Ashraf Ghani made no mention of the crisis during an extended speech on youth affairs on Sunday and with little coming out from the government, people were left to rely on alternative sources of information.

Short videos circulating on social media, purported to be from Ghazni, showed a number of heavily armed Taliban patrolling in the city with a large plume of smoke and flames coming out from the town.

“It is over and the city is taken,” said a man standing outside his home, with several Taliban insurgents nearby.

The videos could not be independently verified by but they generated heavy commentary by social media users that underlined the shock caused by the attack.

U.S. military headquarters in Kabul said sporadic clashes were occurring and American aircraft had conducted five strikes on Sa,上海夜生活Lake,turday and four more on Sunday.

“The Afghan National Defence and Security Forces continue to hold their ground and maintain control of all government centers,” Lt Col Martin O’Donnell, U.S. Forces Afghanistan spokesman, said in an emailed statement.

The Taliban have not taken a major provincial center since they overran the northern city of Kunduz in 2015 and the assault on Ghazni was a major blow to the Western-backed government just weeks before parliamentary elections scheduled for Oct. 20.

Israeli prison to join Armageddon’s list of ancient ruins

MEGIDDO, Israel ( ) – The end is nigh at Armageddon – at least for an old Israeli prison near the ancient ruins 上海419论坛of Megiddo, by tradition the site of the apocalyptic Biblical battle between good and evil.

Half an hour’s drive south of Nazareth, Armageddon is a popular site for the coach loads of tourists visiting the sites of the Holy Land. There is also a busy program of excavations.

In 2005, work to expand the aging Megiddo Prison uncovered the remains of a 3rd century Christian prayer hall, including a mosaic referring to “God Jesus Christ”.

The building with the mosaic was excavated, earlier artifacts found, and the site was covered up under the supervision of archaeologists.

Now, after years of legal and bureaucratic delays, the prison is to be relocated, freeing up the site for further exploration potentially as early as 2021.

The prospect already has archaeologists excitedly talki,上海夜网Gabi,ng about an area they have started to call “Greater Megiddo”.

“When the Christian prayer hall was first found beneath the prison, we were all excited for one minute,” said Matthew Adams, director of the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, who has spent years excavating at Megiddo.

“And then we realized, “Oh, it’s in a maximum security prison, so we’ll never actually be able to do anything with it.”

“Now that the government has decided to move this prison, we can explore this really amazing and interesting part of the development of early Christianity in a way that we didn’t think we’d be able to.”

The prison, whose inmates once included Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants, lies a few hundred y,上海夜生活论坛Eason,ards south of Tel Megiddo itself, the ancient mound at which archeologist have found walls dating back at least 7,000 years.

Between the prison and the hill is the largely unexcavated Roman Sixth Legion garrison, thought to have been built by the Emperor Hadrian.

The name Armageddon is believed to be a corruption of the Hebrew words Har Megiddo – Mount Megiddo.

Although small, the hill was the site of numerous ancient battles because it overlooks the Jezreel Valley, across which armies have marched since antiquity toward a pass leading to the Mediterranean.

The earliest written reference to Megiddo seems to have been during the reign of the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III, who defeated Syrian and Canaanite states there in 1468 BC. It later fell to the Israelites, and then to the Assyrians in 733 BC.

In 1918, the British military commander General Edmund Allenby routed Turkish forces there and he later took the title Viscount Allenby of Megiddo and of Felixstowe.

But its fame derives principally from the apocalyptic final book of the New Testament, “Revelation”, which tells of “the battle of that great day of God Almighty…And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon”.


The current dig at the mound is led by Adams and Prof. Israel Finkelstein, an Israeli archaeologist at Tel Aviv University.

“Megiddo was important because it sits on the international road which connects Egypt with Mesopotamia, with Damascus, with Anatolia. So whoever sits here controls the most important road of antiquity in the ancient world,” Finkelstein said.

Their team has used modern radiocarbon dating and laser-assisted distance measurements to precisely date and record the many layers of history on the tel, including monuments once thought to have been built in the era of King Solomon.

These, Finkelstein says, can now be attributed to the later era of Ahab, king of the northern kingdom of Israel in the 9th century BC.

The most important things was to date things accurately.

“One way is to date according to Biblical verses, and one way is to date according to radiocarbon studies. Biblical verses, with all due respect, are always problematic because there are questions regarding their author, their goals, the ideology behind the author and so on and so forth.”

But, he said, “when you work with radiocarbon you are on solid grounds in your dating”.

Israeli tourist authorities are planning a complex on the site to combine tourism, archaeology, and nature hikes. Targeting Christian evangelicals in particular, they hope to draw 300,000 visitors annually, nearly double the current figure.

Much work remains.

“A prison of 1,000 dangerous prisoners will be moved and a new complex will be built in order to expose the mosaic and enable people from all over the world to come,” prison service spokeswoman Nicole Englander said.

Standing on Tel Megiddo as he supervised excavations into a Middle Bronze Age site, Adams said the area appears to have been a cultural melting pot two millennia ago, with Jews, Christians and pagan Romans all in the same spot.

That suggested interaction between early Christians and the Roman Empire were much more complicated than previously thought.

“Typically, we think of the Romans persecuting Christians,” he said.

Splits deepen over British ex-minister Johnson’s burqa comments

THAME, England ( ) – Former British foreign minister Boris Johnson returned from his summer holiday to face both criticism and support over his remarks about burqas, amid deepening divisions in Britain’s ruling Conservative Party on Sunday.

Johnson, seen as the biggest threat to Prime Minister Theresa May’s struggling leadership, has become a lightning rod for discontent within the party after a newspaper column in which he said Muslim women who wear burqas look like letter boxes or bank robbers.

The comments came in a Aug. 5 piece arguing against a ban on the Islamic full-face veil, but have been criticized as Islamophobic. Others saw the remarks as colourful rhetoric that strikes a chord with many Britons.

May has scolded Johnson, stirring anger amongst those of his supporters who see him as the focal point for resistance to her proposed “business-friendly” Brexit plan. The party has also launched an investigation into his remarks.

Under the headline “Boris sparks cabinet war” the Sunday Times said four unnamed senior ministers were dismayed at May’s handling of the situation.

“They have managed to engineer a total disaster,” one minister was quoted,上海夜生活桑拿会所Kai, as saying. “Trying to silence Boris is stupid, especially when the majority of people agree with him.”

Johnson spent Sunday at his residence in the small town of Thame, around 80 km (50 miles) northwest of London, emerging only to bring cups of tea to reporters. Asked whether he regretted his comments, he declined to comment.

Johnson resigned from the cabinet last month in protest at May’s Brexit plan, setting himself up a爱上海419s a talisman for the many Conservatives who want a more radical departure from the European Union.

Meanwhile, May has struggled to hold her cabinet together on Bre,上海夜生活论坛Darius,xit and faces a testing few months in which she hopes to secure a deal on leaving the EU, face the party’s unhappy grassroots, and win a crucial vote in parliament.

Johnson’s burqa remarks were defended by, amongst others, Donald Trump’s former political strategist Steve Bannon, who told the Sunday Times that his overall message had been lost because of a “throwaway line”.

Bannon has previously called on Johnson to challenge May’s leadership.

But a Conservative member of the upper house of parliament and former government polling adviser, Andrew Cooper, accused Johnson of “moral emptiness” and populism over the remarks.

“The rottenness of Boris Johnson goes deeper even than his casual racism & his equally casual courting of fascism. He will advocate literally anything to play to the crowd of the moment,” Cooper said on Twitter.

Johnson, who has made clear that he does not intend to apologize over his burqa comments, did not address the row in his latest column which was published late on Sunday evening.

Instead he focused on housing policy, saying stamp duty land tax, a tax which is applied to property purchases, was “absurdly high” and was stalling the property market. He also criticized developers for delivering poorly built homes and hoarding land.

Russia says will ditch U.S. securities amid sanctions: RIA

MOSCOW ( ) – Russia will further decrease its holdings of U.S. securities in response to new sanctions against Moscow but has no plans to shut down U.S. companies in Russia, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on state TV on Sunday, RIA news agency reported.

On Friday, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Russia would regard any U.S. move to curb the activities of its banks as a “declaration of economic war” and would take retaliatory action.

Washington said on Wednesday it would impose fresh sanctions by the end of August after it determined that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian 上海419论坛agent and his daughter in Britain, sending Russia’s rouble currency to a two-year low.

Speaking on a weekly TV talk show, Sil,上海夜生活论坛Garrett,uanov said the new U.S. sanctions, some of which could restrict purchases of Russ,上海夜生活Fantasia,ian government bonds, were “unpleasant but not fatal”.

“We have lowered to the minimum level and will further decrease our investment in the U.S. economy, in the U.S. securities,” Siluanov said, shedding light on the nature of an unexpected drop in Russia’s holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds.

Russia has ditched its holdings of U.S. Treasuries in the past few months as relations between Moscow and Washington have deteriorated, data showed last month.

Russia will also have more settlement in roubles and other currencies, such as the euro, than in dollars, Siluanov said.

“Eventually, this will negatively impact U.S. investors. But we are not planning now any limitations such as shutting down McDonalds,” Siluanov said. He referred to calls by some lawmakers to shut down prominent U.S. companies in Russia starting from 2014, when relations with the West soured over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its role in Ukraine’s crisis.

“Our citizens work in these companies, these companies pay taxes into the budget of our country,” Siluanov said.

While admitting that U.S. sanctions would boost inflation in Russia as they hurt the rouble, Siluanov said there were no plans to ban using the dollar in Russia.

“Of course, the government has no such plans. That would be a step to an impasse.”

Israel’s Arab minority rallies against new nation-state law

TEL AVIV ( ) – Thousands of prote,上海夜生活论坛Raquel,sters rallied in Tel Aviv on Saturday against Israel’s new law declaring it the nation-state of the Jewish people, legislation that has angered the country’s Arab minority and drawn criticism abroad.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defended the law, which says only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country and downgrades Arabic from an official language, saying it is necessary in order to fend off Palestinian challenges to Jewish self-determination.

The protesters, mostly Israeli Arabs, waved Palestinian flags and held up signs that read ‘equality’ in Arabic and Hebrew. 上海419论坛

“The law legitimizes racism,” said Laila al-Sana, 19, from a Bedouin village in Israel’s southern Negev desert. “It’s very important to show we are here, to resist,” she said.

Israel’s Arab population comprises mainly descendants of the Palestinians who remained on their land after the 1948 war at the time of the creation of the modern state of Israel. Hundreds of thousands were forced to leave their homes or fled.

Many of Israel’s Arab citizens also identify as Palestinian. They make up about a f,上海夜网Gaetano,ifth of the state’s 9 million people. Israeli law grants them full equal rights, but many say they face discrimination and are treated as second-class citizens.

“When I heard about the law I felt I should defend my hometown, our land, the land of my ancestors,” said 68-year-old Sheikha Dabbah at the rally.

Largely declarative, the law was enacted just after the 70th anniversary of the birth of the state of Israel.

It stipulates that “Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it”. It also downgrades Arabic from an official language alongside Hebrew to a “special status.”

“I feel ashamed that after 70 years I have to accentuate my nationalism instead of being generous toward all those who live here,” said Gila Zamir, 58, a Jewish Israeli from the Arab-Jewish city Haifa.

Netanyahu posted on his Twitter page a video from the demonstration of a few protesters waving the Palestinian flag and chanting: “With spirit, with blood we shall redeem you, Palestine” and wrote: “There is no better evidence of the nation-law’s necessity.” Separate TV footage showed a few Israeli flags being waved.

Critics have said the new law is undemocratic because it differentiates between Jewish and non-Jewish citizens. Its defenders say civil equality is guaranteed in existing legislation.

Arab leaders in Israel have said the law verges on apartheid. Rights groups and Jewish groups in the Diaspora have spoken against the legislation, as have the EU, Egypt and Israel’s own president.

Last Saturday a protest against the law by Israel’s Druze community, which numbers about 120,000 citizens, drew a far larger crowd.

The Druze are ethnic Arab members of a religious minority that is an offshoot of Islam incorporating elements of other faiths.

Their outrage over the law has had more resonance in Israel, despite their small numbers, because of their reputation as loyal supporters of the state. Unlike the wider Arab population, many Druze serve in Israel’s conscript military and security forces, and some have risen high in the ranks.

Druze leaders have voiced a deep sense of betrayal over the law, striking a chord among many Israelis. However, efforts by Netanyahu to appease the Druze community have so far failed.

(This story has been refiled to fix typo in paragraph 1)

Suspected Seattle airplane thief was adventurer, bakery owner

( ) – The airline worker who stole an empty airplane from a Seattle airport on a flight that ended in his death once ran a bakery with his wife and enjoyed the benefits that came with his job to travel the world, social media posts showed.

Richard Russell, who liked to be called Beebo, was a 29-year-old man living in Sumner, Washington, who was born in Key West, Florida, and moved to Wasilla, Alaska, when he was 7 years old, according to a Web page he set up for a college communications class.

He has not been officially named by authorities, but his family and multiple news media outlets have reported his identity.

Russell worked for Horizon Airlines, a sister carrier of Alaska Airlines [ALKAIR.UL], as a ground service agent who helped baggage handlers and was part of Horizon’s tow team, which moved planes around on the tarmac. It was a job that gave him the perk of “being able to fly to Alaska at my leisure,” he wrote on the page.

In a video posted on YouTube last December, Russell shows luggage coming off and being loaded 上海龙凤419onto aircraft, and describes what the life of a ground service agent can entail.

“That means I lift a lot of bags, like a lot of bags, so many bags,” he says, adding, “it allows me to do some pretty cool things, too.”

There are then shots of trips he took, including flying over Alaskan fjords, visiting lavender fields in France, touring in Yucatan, Mexico, and attending a hurling match in Dublin, Ireland.

“It evens out in the end,” he says to end the video.

There was no mention in the social media posts of studying to become a pilot but in some posts he spoke of his Christian religious faith and the possibility of joining the military.

On a SoundCloud site, Russell interviews fellow ground service agents, asking them questions that include: “What was one of your best travel experiences using your flight benefits?”

Authorities say he commandeered an empty Bombardier Q400, 107-foot (32.61 m) long turboprop aircraft on Friday night from a maintenance area at Seattle-Taco,上海夜生活桑拿会所Ilya,ma International Airport. He flew for about an hour, often erratically with attempts at aerial stunts, before crashing on Ketron Island in Puget Sound, about 25 miles (40 km) to the southwest.

He appeared to have acted alone and was suicidal, according to the local sheriff’s department.

His family members said in a statement they were stunned and heartbroken.

“It may seem difficult for those watching at home to believe, but Beebo was a warm, compassionate man,” the statement said.

Russell’s social media posts often showed him on adventures with his wife,上海夜生活Lauren,, who he said he met in Oregon in 2010.

“We were married one year later, and one month after that we opened a bakery which we successfully ran for 3 years,” he wrote on his Web page. “We consider ourselves bakery connoisseurs and have to try a new one every place we go.”

The couple later moved to Washington state, where he got a job with Horizon. His wife could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Seattle Times quoted Rick Christenson, an operational supervisor with the airline who retired in May, as saying Russell was a well-liked, quiet person.

In his final moments captured by partial recordings of his conversations with air traffic controllers that were published online by Broadcastify.com, Russell spoke calmly and said he was sorry to disappoint people who cared about him and described himself as a “broken guy”.

“Got a few screws loose, I guess,” he is heard saying in the recording. “Never really knew it until now.”

U.S. Congress rushes to avert doctor pay cuts

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. House and Senate leaders said on Wednesday they were working to avert looming Medicare pay cuts for doctors, with a House vote on a temporary solution expected on Thursday and Senate action also possible in the coming days.

Many lawmakers in both,上海夜生活桑拿会所Benjamin, parties support the idea of finding a permanent solution to the Medicare payment system, fearing that otherwise doctors will be forced to turn aw上海龙凤419ay patients seeking access to care under the government-funded healthcare program for the elderly.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner said on Wednesday he expected Congress to act swiftly after he and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, agreed to a proposal to delay the cu,上海夜生活论坛Parkes,ts for another year.

The House of Representatives will vote on Thursday, Boehner said, adding he expected the Senate would follow quickly. He said the short-term, 12-month remedy does not preclude any work from being done on a longer-term solution.

Reid later told reporters that he was working with Boehner on the issue, but added that Senate Democrats still favored a permanent repeal of Medicare’s contentious payment formula so that lawmakers could “get rid of this once and for all.”

“We may have to do another patch, but we are trying really hard,” Reid said at a news conference following Boehner’s.

Hundreds of thousands of doctors who participate in traditional Medicare face a 24 percent pay cut on April 1, a situation dating to a 1990s initiative to restrain federal spending on the government healthcare program, which today serves nearly 50 million elderly and disabled people.

Doctors hoped to see a final fix to the payment problem this year after Republicans and Democrats in both chambers of Congress agreed in February on a policy to replace the old payment formula, known as the sustainable growth rate or SGR.

But there was no agreement on how to fund the $138 billion cost of the repair over the next decade, a serious sticking point in the Republican-run House.


The American Medical Association, which represents 225,000 physicians and is one of the most powerful lobby groups, expressed frustration that Congress was working on yet another temporary fix on doctor pay and urged lawmakers not to pass it.

In a statement issued Wednesday, AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven urged the House and Senate to instead work on legislation to permanently repeal the pay cuts.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, a Democrat, said he was not giving up on getting a permanent fix through the Senate in the coming days, saying the costs could be offset with billions that have been appropriated but not spent in Afghanistan. “We’re getting out of Afghanistan,” he said.

Wyden said it was ridiculous for Congress to go on patching the formula, adding that lawmakers had already passed 16 temporary fixes that cost taxpayers some $150 billion. The patch under discussion now would cost about $22 billion, he said.

“The cost of the patches adds up pretty much to the cost of repeal,” Wyden said in a telephone interview.

Earlier this month the House passed a repair that would have been permanent but paid for by delaying for five years the tax penalty most Americans must pay if they decline to sign up for President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare program.

Most House Democrats refused to endorse that approach, which appeared to have no chance of winning Senate passage and which the White House threatened to veto if it did.

Some analysts said the temporary fix the House planned to take up on Thursday was not totally paid for by other savings. Part of the bill’s savings were achieved by a “gimmick,” shifting savings from the automatic 2013 budget cuts from one year to another, the Committee for a Responsible budget said in a statement.