Tesla Driver's Death Using Car's 'Autopilot' Probed by NHTSA – ABC News

A driver so enamored of his Tesla Model S sedan that he nicknamed the car “Tessy” and praised the safety benefits of its sophisticated “Autopilot” system has become the first U.S. fatality in a wreck involving a car in self-driving mode.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the driver’s death Thursday, and said it is investigating the design and performance of the Autopilot system.

Joshua D. Brown of Canton, Ohio, the 40-year-old owner of a technology company, was killed May 7 in Williston, Florida, when his car’s cameras failed to distinguish the white side of a turning tractor-trailer from a brightly lit sky and didn’t automatically activate its brakes, according to statements by the government and the automaker. Just one month earlier, Brown had credited the Autopilot system for preventing a collision on an interstate.

Frank Baressi, 62, the driver of the truck and owner of Okemah Express LLC, said the Tesla driver was “playing Harry Potter on the TV screen” at the time of the crash and driving so quickly that “he went so fast through my trailer I didn’t see him.”

The movie “was still playing when he died and snapped a telephone pole a quarter mile down the road,” Baressi told The Associated Press in an interview from his home in Palm Harbor, Florida. He acknowledged he didn’t see the movie, only heard it.

Tesla Motors Inc. said it is not possible to watch videos on the Model S touch screen. There was no reference to the movie in initial police reports.

Brown’s published obituary described him as a member of the Navy SEALs for 11 years and founder of Nexu Innovations Inc., working on wireless internet networks and camera systems. In Washington, the Pentagon confirmed Brown’s work with the SEALs and said he left the service in 2008.

Brown was an enthusiastic booster of his 2015 Tesla Model S and in April praised its sophisticated Autopilot system for avoiding a crash when a commercial truck swerved into his lane on an interstate. He published a video of the incident online. “Hands down the best car I have ever owned and use it to its full extent,” Brown wrote.

Tesla didn’t identify Brown but described him in a statement as “a friend to Tesla and the broader EV (electric vehicle) community, a person who spent his life focused on innovation and the promise of technology and who believed strongly in Tesla’s mission.” It also stressed the uncertainty about its new system, noting that drivers must manually enable it: “Autopilot is getting better all the time, but it is not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert.”

A man answering the door at Brown’s parents’ house who did not identify himself said he had no comment.

Tesla founder Elon Musk expressed “our condolences for the tragic loss” in a tweet late Thursday.

Preliminary reports indicate the crash occurred when Baressi’s rig turned left in front of Brown’s Tesla at an intersection of a divided highway southwest of Gainesville, Florida, where there was no traffic light, NHTSA said. Brown died at the scene.

By the time firefighters arrived, the wreckage of the Tesla — with its roof sheared off completely — had come to rest in a nearby yard hundreds of feet from the crash site, assistant chief Danny Wallace of the Williston Fire Department told the AP.

Tesla said in a statement that this was the first known death in over 130 million miles of Autopilot operation. Before Autopilot can be used, drivers have to acknowledge that the system is an “assist feature” that requires a driver to keep both hands on the wheel at all time. Drivers are told they need to “maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle” while using the system, and they have to be prepared to take over at any time, the statement said.

Autopilot makes frequent checks, making sure the driver’s hands are on the wheel, and it gives visual and audible alerts if hands aren’t detected, and it gradually slows the car until a driver responds, the statement said.

The Autopilot mode allows the Model S sedan and Model X SUV to steer itself within a lane, change lanes and speed up or slow down based on surrounding traffic or the driver’s set speed. It can automatically apply brakes and slow the vehicle. It can also scan for parking spaces and parallel park on command

NHTSA said the opening of the preliminary evaluation by its defects investigation office shouldn’t be construed as a finding that the government believes the Model S is defective.

Brown’s death comes as NHTSA is taking steps to ease the way onto the nation’s roads for self-driving cars, an anticipated sea-change in driving. Self-driving cars have been expected to be a boon to safety because they’ll eliminate human errors. Human error is responsible for about 94 percent of crashes.

One of Tesla’s advantages over competitors is that its thousands of cars feed real-world performance information back to the company, which can then fine-tune the software that runs Autopilot.

This is not the first time automatic braking systems have malfunctioned, and several have been recalled to fix problems. Last fall, Ford recalled 37,000 F-150 pickups because they braked with nothing in the way. The company said the radar could become confused when passing a large, reflective truck.

The technology relies on multiple cameras, radar, laser and computers to sense objects and determine if they are in the car’s way, said Mike Harley, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book. Systems like Tesla’s, which rely heavily on cameras, “aren’t sophisticated enough to overcome blindness from bright or low contrast light,” he said.

Harley called the death unfortunate, but said that more deaths can be expected as the autonomous technology is refined.

———

Krisher reported from Detroit. Associated Press writers Justin Pritchard in Los Angeles, Lolita Baldor and Ted Bridis in Washington, Dee-Ann Durbin in Detroit, Jason Dearen in Gainesville, Florida, and Tamara Lush in Palm Harbor, Florida, contributed to this report.

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Tesla driver's death using car's 'Autopilot' probed by NHTSA – Washington Post

By Joan Lowy and Tom Krisher | AP,

WASHINGTON — A driver so enamored of his Tesla Model S sedan that he nicknamed the car “Tessy” and praised the safety benefits of its sophisticated “Autopilot” system has become the first U.S. fatality in a wreck involving a car in self-driving mode.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the driver’s death Thursday, and said it is investigating the design and performance of the Autopilot system.

Joshua D. Brown of Canton, Ohio, the 40-year-old owner of a technology company, was killed May 7 in Williston, Florida, when his car’s cameras failed to distinguish the white side of a turning tractor-trailer from a brightly lit sky and didn’t automatically activate its brakes, according to statements by the government and the automaker. Just one month earlier, Brown had credited the Autopilot system for preventing a collision on an interstate.

Frank Baressi, 62, the driver of the truck and owner of Okemah Express LLC, said the Tesla driver was “playing Harry Potter on the TV screen” at the time of the crash and driving so quickly that “he went so fast through my trailer I didn’t see him.”

The movie “was still playing when he died and snapped a telephone pole a quarter mile down the road,” Baressi told The Associated Press in an interview from his home in Palm Harbor, Florida. He acknowledged he didn’t see the movie, only heard it.

Tesla Motors Inc. said it is not possible to watch videos on the Model S touch screen. There was no reference to the movie in initial police reports.

Brown’s published obituary described him as a member of the Navy SEALs for 11 years and founder of Nexu Innovations Inc., working on wireless internet networks and camera systems. In Washington, the Pentagon confirmed Brown’s work with the SEALs and said he left the service in 2008.

Brown was an enthusiastic booster of his 2015 Tesla Model S and in April praised its sophisticated Autopilot system for avoiding a crash when a commercial truck swerved into his lane on an interstate. He published a video of the incident online. “Hands down the best car I have ever owned and use it to its full extent,” Brown wrote.

Tesla didn’t identify Brown but described him in a statement as “a friend to Tesla and the broader EV (electric vehicle) community, a person who spent his life focused on innovation and the promise of technology and who believed strongly in Tesla’s mission.” It also stressed the uncertainty about its new system, noting that drivers must manually enable it: “Autopilot is getting better all the time, but it is not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert.”

A man answering the door at Brown’s parents’ house who did not identify himself said he had no comment.

Tesla founder Elon Musk expressed “our condolences for the tragic loss” in a tweet late Thursday.

Preliminary reports indicate the crash occurred when Baressi’s rig turned left in front of Brown’s Tesla at an intersection of a divided highway southwest of Gainesville, Florida, where there was no traffic light, NHTSA said. Brown died at the scene.

By the time firefighters arrived, the wreckage of the Tesla — with its roof sheared off completely — had come to rest in a nearby yard hundreds of feet from the crash site, assistant chief Danny Wallace of the Williston Fire Department told the AP.

Tesla said in a statement that this was the first known death in over 130 million miles of Autopilot operation. Before Autopilot can be used, drivers have to acknowledge that the system is an “assist feature” that requires a driver to keep both hands on the wheel at all time. Drivers are told they need to “maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle” while using the system, and they have to be prepared to take over at any time, the statement said.

Autopilot makes frequent checks, making sure the driver’s hands are on the wheel, and it gives visual and audible alerts if hands aren’t detected, and it gradually slows the car until a driver responds, the statement said.

The Autopilot mode allows the Model S sedan and Model X SUV to steer itself within a lane, change lanes and speed up or slow down based on surrounding traffic or the driver’s set speed. It can automatically apply brakes and slow the vehicle. It can also scan for parking spaces and parallel park on command

NHTSA said the opening of the preliminary evaluation by its defects investigation office shouldn’t be construed as a finding that the government believes the Model S is defective.

Brown’s death comes as NHTSA is taking steps to ease the way onto the nation’s roads for self-driving cars, an anticipated sea-change in driving. Self-driving cars have been expected to be a boon to safety because they’ll eliminate human errors. Human error is responsible for about 94 percent of crashes.

One of Tesla’s advantages over competitors is that its thousands of cars feed real-world performance information back to the company, which can then fine-tune the software that runs Autopilot.

This is not the first time automatic braking systems have malfunctioned, and several have been recalled to fix problems. Last fall, Ford recalled 37,000 F-150 pickups because they braked with nothing in the way. The company said the radar could become confused when passing a large, reflective truck.

The technology relies on multiple cameras, radar, laser and computers to sense objects and determine if they are in the car’s way, said Mike Harley, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book. Systems like Tesla’s, which rely heavily on cameras, “aren’t sophisticated enough to overcome blindness from bright or low contrast light,” he said.

Harley called the death unfortunate, but said that more deaths can be expected as the autonomous technology is refined.

___

Krisher reported from Detroit. Associated Press writers Justin Pritchard in Los Angeles, Lolita Baldor and Ted Bridis in Washington, Dee-Ann Durbin in Detroit, Jason Dearen in Gainesville, Florida, and Tamara Lush in Palm Harbor, Florida, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Britain's political chaos makes Brexit all the more confusing – Washington Post


When they were on the same side: Gove (left) and Johnson at a June 24 press conference in central London. (Mary Turner/AFP/Getty Images)

What a weird few days in Britain. As the country — and the continent eyeing it warily across the Channel — attempted to come to grips with the fallout of last week’s vote to leave the European Union, its political parties imploded in a frenzy of backstabbing and internecine struggle.

It’s intrigue and skulduggery that puts the current feuding across the pond, where Donald Trump is now rounding on GOP rivals who have so far refused to back him, in the shade.

First, there was the no-confidence vote against Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose lackluster support of the Remain campaign infuriated many of his fellow colleagues in the opposition. Corbyn’s decision to fight for his post — backed by much of Labour’s more leftist rank-and-file — has triggered “what will likely be an ugly and protracted war for the party’s soul,” writes The Washington Post’s Griff Witte.

Then, there were the Conservatives. The victory of the pro-Brexit camp compelled British Prime Minister David Cameron, leader of the failed movement to remain, to announce his resignation. On Thursday, Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London and the most mainstream politician leading the Leave camp, began the day assuming it would mark the first step toward his coronation as Cameron’s successor.

But there was a sting in the tail in the form Johnson’s longterm friend and deputy, the bespectacled, bookish conservative politician and former journalist Michael Gove.

As Johnson prepared to announce his candidacy, Gove betrayed him without notice, announcing that he was launching his own campaign to helm the Conservative Party and thereby become prime minister. The insurrection earned comparisons to backroom maneuvering in “House of Cards” and prompted Johnson to withdraw his candidacy, leaving Britain totally befuddled.

“This one stunned an already dazed nation, and left no doubt, if any had remained, that Britain is divided, directionless and leaderless as it prepares for a leap into the unknown of life outside the E.U.,” wrote Witte.

There’s a somewhat crowded field of candidates to now follow Cameron. The Post’s London correspondent Karla Adam wrote profiles of the two at the head of the pack: Gove and Theresa May, 59, who commands perhaps the most support from sitting Conservative parliamentarians.

Observers weren’t impressed by Johnson’s retreat. The flamboyant, mop-headed former mayor had championed the Leave campaign and won a narrow victory in last week’s referendum — a result some pundits say he never had anticipated.

“Boris engineered the largest constitutional crisis in post-war history but won’t even put his name forward to clear it up?” tweeted University of Manchester political scientist Rob Ford.

“They show every sign of suffering from a bad case of buyer’s remorse, with no idea what to do next,” wrote Jonathan Powell, a former Labour Party adviser, about the conservative politicians who championed Brexit. “Drifting away from the undertakings they made during the campaign, they appear to be making it up as they go along. Certainly they can’t offer us a way out of the crisis they have created.”

And, increasingly, it appears Britain’s woes may not become everybody else’s problems.

U.S. markets bounced back healthily on Thursday, even as the British pound continues to take a beating. “We are clawing back from the losses after Brexit as investors realized that it was not the watershed event that they thought it was,” James Abate, chief investment officer at Centre Asset Management LLC, told MarketWatch.

Moreover, a potential Brexit could be good news for countries as far-flung as China and Russia, where the dysfunction of the West is always welcome coin for the realm, and even Germany, which could attract the sort of top-notch, well-heeled professionals who have so far called London home.

The political implications for Britain, though, aren’t pretty. The country needs a functioning government to contend with the myriad challenges ahead: The prospect of negotiations with Brussels over the terms of a future deal; the renewed calls for independence in Scotland; the likely outrage of Leave voters who realize many of the campaign’s promises — from reinvigorating the welfare state to booting out Muslims — may be impossible to fulfill.

A new prime minister is expected to trigger the formal process by which Britain will extract itself from the E.U., which may take up to two years. Johnson had hoped in vain that Britain could reach a deal whereby they remain in the single market without having to adhere to the bulk of the rules set down in Brussels, including controls over the freedom of movement. This, European officials have indicated, was “a pipe dream.”

Britian’s European interlocutors, instead, may strike a hard bargain, something neither Gove nor May can meekly accept.

Henry Kissinger explains the conundrum rather lucidly in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal: “Britain will want to maintain extensive ties with Europe while lifting or easing the constraints of its many legislative and bureaucratic requirements. The EU leadership has almost the opposite incentive. It will not wish to reward Britain’s Leave majority by granting Britain better terms than it enjoyed as a full member. Hence a punitive element is likely to be inherent in the EU bargaining position.”

There are tense times ahead. And the confusion has raised the prospect that a Brexit could yet turn into a Bremain. A petition for a new referendum garnered millions of signatures. There are even suggestions the decision can be invalidated in court.

Financial Times columnist Gideon Rachman put forward the idea that European negotiators and British politicians could reach a happy compromise that may eventually allow the country to back away from a full Brexit. So far, though, that sort of move does not seem on the cards.

“Brexit means Brexit,” May told reporters. “The campaign was fought, the vote was held, turnout was high, and the public gave their verdict. There must be no attempts to remain inside the EU.”

More on WorldViews

Brexit and the revenge of the nation-state

Everyone hates the elites. Even the elites.

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The Pentagon's ban on transgender service just fell — but the details are complicated – Washington Post

Defense Sec. Ash Carter said June 30 that transgender service members are “talented and trained Americans who are serving their country with honor and distinction.” At a news conference, Carter explained why the Pentagon had chosen to do away with the ban on allowing openly transgender troops to serve. (Reuters)

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter repealed the Pentagon’s long-held ban on transgender people serving in the military Thursday, ending a year-long process that was bogged down by internal conflict and concerns among senior service officials about how the change could be made.

Carter said at a news conference that the policy change will take place over the next 12 months, beginning with guidance issued to current transgender service members and their commanders, followed by training for the entire military. Beginning Thursday, however, service members can no longer be involuntarily separated from the services solely on the basis of being transgender, he said.

“Our mission is to defend this country, and we don’t want barriers unrelated to a person’s qualification to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman or Marine who can best accomplish the mission,” Carter said. “We have to have access to 100 percent of America’s population for our all-volunteer forces to be able to recruit from among them the most highly qualified — and to retain them.”

[Earlier coverage: Repeal of military’s transgender ban tripped up by internal conflict]

The decision marks the latest way in which the military has blazed new trails in the last few years on issues that have divided the country. In 2011, the Obama administration  repealed the “don’t ask, don’t tell,” policy that prohibited gay service members from serving openly. More recently, Carter lifted a ban on women serving in units in ground combat assignments last year.

For decades, the Pentagon considered transgender people to be sexual deviants who had to be discharged from service. The military decided last year to move the authority to discharge to higher ranking commanders, making it tougher to force out those came out as transgender. Still, many service members have been living in limbo.

The Pentagon chief said that a Rand Corp. study commissioned by the military found that there are currently about 2,500 transgender service members among the 1.3 million active-duty members of the military, and an additional 1,500 among reserve units.

The “upper end of their range of estimates” found that there about 7,000 transgender troops on active duty and 4,000 in the reserves, Carter said. Other organizations studying sexuality, such as the Palm Center, have found that were about 15,500 transgender service members a few years ago, and 12,800 now due to reductions in the overall size of the force.

In a sign of how much the country has changed, there was a relatively muted reaction to the announcement on Capitol Hill, with critics of the change saying they were unlikely to mount an effort to stop the administration.

Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R.-Calif.), a Marine Corps veteran who played a key role in a failed effort five years ago to slow the demise of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” discussed what to do with his staff and decided it was better to focus on other issues, according to his chief of staff, Joe Kasper.

“He’s thought about it. We talked about it,” Kasper said. “But he’d likely be alone in the effort. On these issues — most members won’t touch them with a 10-foot pole. Hunter will, but if he can’t get others on board.”

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R.-Tex.), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, called Carter’s decision the latest example of the Pentagon and President Obama prioritizing politics over policy.

“Our military readiness — and hence, our national security — is dependent on our troops being medically ready and deployable,” he said in a statement. “The Administration seems unwilling or unable to assure Congress and the American people that transgender individuals will meet these individual readiness requirements at a time when our Armed Forces are deployed around the world.”

The details of the transgender policy change appeared to strike a compromise between some issues at play. Notably, transgender people who want to join the military will be required to wait 18 months after a doctor certifies that they are stable in their new gender before they can enlist. Defense officials familiar with the discussions have said that the Army and Marine Corps pressed to wait two years, while the Navy and Air Force thought 12 months were sufficient.

Carter, who appeared Thursday without any military leaders in uniform alongside him, said the decision to make the change in policy was his. But he added that he tried to build consensus among military officials before forging ahead.


Senior Airman Kiana Brothers waves the pride flag and cheers on participants of the Pride Month 5K at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois on June 24, 2016. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Fowler/ Air Force)

“I have a general principle around here, which is that it’s important that people who have to implement decisions be part of the decision making, and the armed services are the one who are going to have to implement that,” he said. “They’ve been a part of this study, but now they are a critical part of implementation.”

Gen. Robert B. Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, said in a statement that integrating transgender service members will require understanding, coordination and discipline.

“As we develop our implementation plan, we will pay particular attention to maintaining our readiness and standards, while respecting those who share the esprit de corps to serve as Marines,” Neller said. “We fight and win as a team. In that, we will continue to treat all Marines with dignity and respect.”

Cynthia Smith, an Army spokeswoman, said the service will work diligently to develop an implementation plan.

The decision was greeted with jubilation from existing transgender service members, who have lived in an awkward world over the last year in which Carter noted their difficulties and established a working group to research the issue.

“We all knew the change was coming ever since he acknowledged our service,” said Staff Sgt. Patricia King, a transgender member of the Army infantry who recently was assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Her new unit was prepared for her when she arrived and has treated her warmly, she said.

“All they saw was a soldier and woman ready to do her job,” King said.

Many policy details still need to be decided, however. Over the next 90 days, the Pentagon will follow up by completing and issuing a commander’s guidebook for leading current transgender service members and medical guidance to military doctors for providing gender transition care if required for those already in uniform. The Defense Department also will immediately initiate changes so that transgender troops can alter their gender in personnel management systems.

Beginning in October, the services will begin training rank-and-file service members about the change. By no later than next July, the military services will begin allowing transgender service members who meet all standards to openly join the military, provided that they are considered stable in their identified gender for 18 months, as certified by their doctor and verified by a military doctor.

[Earlier coverage: Pentagon can easily drop its ban on transgender troops, study finds]

Following Carter’s announcement, the Defense Department released a new 18-page document outlining one of the most complicated issues involved: Swapping genders while serving on active duty. It calls for the Pentagon and the military departments to institute policies by which service members can do so, and states that if a military medical provider determines it is necessary they will receive treatment.

“Commanders will assess expected impacts on mission and readiness after consideration of the advice of military medical providers and will address such impacts in accordance with this issuance,” the document states. It adds that commanders “will not accommodate biases against transgender individuals.”

Carter had progressively faced more pressure from advocates for the ban’s repeal over the last few months. He announced last July that he was forming a working group to study the issue over the following six months, but the deliberations extended for more than a year as service officials raised a variety of concerns.

Defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal Pentagon discussions, said after Carter’s announcement that commanders will have significant discretion in making sense of how and when gender transition for a service member will occur, particularly if there is gender reassignment surgery involved.

“Each case is going to be unique, and each piece of treatment is going to be subject to decisions not only by doctors, but by commanders,” one official said.

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"Urgent" air bag danger for 313000 Honda owners – CBS News

Last Updated Jun 30, 2016 4:05 PM EDT

DETROIT — The U.S. government is urging owners of 313,000 older Hondas and Acuras to stop driving them and get them repaired after new tests found that their Takata air bag inflators are extremely dangerous.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday that it has data showing that chances are as high as 50 percent that the inflators can explode in a crash, injuring people by sending metal shrapnel into the passenger compartments.

“These vehicles are unsafe and need to be repaired immediately,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. “Folks should not drive these vehicles unless they are going straight to a dealer to have them repaired.”

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Takata air bag recall now the largest in U.S. history

Takata adds 40 million more air bags to ongoing recall; businesses hired at a slower rate in April; and Blue Bell is recalling ice cream due to m…

Takata inflators can explode with too much force, blowing apart a metal canister and spewing metal fragments. At least 11 people have died and more than 100 have been injured worldwide from the problem. Authorities in Malaysia are investigating three more deaths that may be linked to the inflators. Seventeen car and truck makers are recalling 69 million inflators in what has become the largest automotive recall in U.S. history.

NHTSA’s urgent advisory covers vehicles that are up to 16 years old including 2001 and 2002 Honda Civics and Accords, the 2002 and 2003 Acura TL, the 2002 Honda Odyssey and CR-V, and the 2003 Acura CL and Honda Pilot, NHTSA said. The vehicles are among the oldest involved in the Takata recalls. They were recalled from 2008 to 2011, and about 70 percent of them already have been repaired, the agency said.

The older the inflators are, and the more time they spend in heat and humidity, the more likely they are to malfunction.

Honda said it has ample replacement parts available from companies other than Takata to immediately fix the cars, the automaker said in a statement. The company said it has reached out to the owners multiple times, but many vehicles remain unrepaired even in high-humidity areas mainly along the U.S. Gulf Coast that are at the highest risk.

Takata uses ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion that inflates air bags in a crash. But the chemical can deteriorate over time when exposed to high heat and humidity and can blow apart a metal canister, spewing hot shrapnel.

Recent lab tests showed that about half of the inflators taken from the older Hondas in areas along the Gulf Coast blew apart, the agency said.

Eight of the 10 U.S. deaths caused by Takata inflators occurred in the older Honda and Acura vehicles, the government said. It urged people to go to safercar.gov and enter their vehicle identification number to see if their car or truck is being recalled.

“These vehicles are death traps, and Takata and Honda have understated the risks for far too long,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., a frequent critic of the government and auto industry response to the problem. “Merely telling people to come to dealers is not enough — they need to go out and find these vehicles and get them off the road.”

Honda says it has used social media, telephone calls, newspaper ads, mail, text and even private investigators to contact owners. The company will more than double the size of its customer service staff to make more calls to owners, Honda said.

Takata of Japan agreed in May to expand the recalls. They are being phased in due to a lack of available replacement parts. Models from 2011 or older in high heat and humidity areas will get first priority, followed by 2008 and older models in Southern-tier states, then 2004 and older models in the rest of the country. Research has shown that it takes at least six years for the ammonium nitrate to deteriorate.

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Israeli-American girl, 13, fatally stabbed in West Bank home, authorities say – CNN

Hallel Yaffa Ariel was sleeping when a Palestinian teenager entered the house in the settlement near Hebron and killed her, authorities said.
“Just like any teenager on summer holiday, my daughter was asleep, calm, relaxed. A terrorist murderer came and murdered her in her bed,” her mother, Rena Ariel, told Israel’s Channel 2.
Security guards on the settlement entered the home and found the suspect still inside, the IDF said. During a fight, one security guard was stabbed, and the intruder was shot and killed.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the attacker as Mohammed Tarayra, 17, from Bani Naim, a village east of Hebron.
In response to the attack, the IDF sealed off access to Bani Naim to everyone except humanitarian and medical workers.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the world to condemn the attack.
“The horrifying murder of a young girl in her bed underscores the bloodlust and inhumanity of the incitement-driven terrorists that we are facing. The entire nation deeply identifies with the family’s pain and declares to the murderers: You will not break us. We will continue to take strong and determined action against terrorism everywhere and at all times,” he said in a statement.
Netanyahu said he would revoke work permits for members of Tarayra’s family and has started the process of seeking approval to demolish Tarayra’s home, a not uncommon practice by Israeli authorities.
The girl was a dual national of Israel and the United States.
U.S. Secretary of State spokesman John Kirby said, “This brutal act of terrorism is simply unconscionable. We extend our deepest condolences to her family. We also understand another individual who was responding to the attack was wounded by the attacker. We extend our hopes for a quick and full recovery.”
Hallel Ariel was a student in eighth grade. Hundreds attended her funeral Thursday evening in Hebron, a city with longstanding tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.
Kiryat Arba is a settlement in the southern West Bank near Hebron. Israeli settlements in the West Bank are considered illegal by many in the international community.
Sari Bashi, Israel-Palestine director of Human Rights Watch, said, “The fact that settlements are illegal under international law does not make their inhabitants, children as well as their parents, subject to lethal attack. At the same time, the killing provides no legal justification for the Israeli government to punish the alleged attacker’s family members.”

CNN’s Ralph Ellis contributed to this report.

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Leading Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson says he won't run for prime minister – CNN

Story highlights

  • Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn embroiled in anti-Semitism row
  • Justice Secretary Michael Gove says he’ll run for PM
Living up to his reputation as a political maverick, the former London mayor outlined the demands of the role over the course of a lengthy speech in London and then said: “Having consulted colleagues and in view of the circumstances in Parliament, I have concluded that that person cannot be me.”
The charismatic Conservative MP played a decisive role in the campaign to lead Britain out of the European Union — an endeavor many saw as partly an effort to position himself as the future leader of the ruling Conservative Party, and of the country.
Former London mayor Boris Johnson says he will not stand to succeed David Cameron.

Former London mayor Boris Johnson says he will not stand to succeed David Cameron.

The announcement drew a stunned response across the UK and beyond. On social media, it was met with disbelief and anger.
Since the unexpected Leave vote sent the pound tumbling, hurt global markets and inspired renewed talk of Scottish independence, many have seen Britain as a casualty of Johnson’s now-thwarted leadership ambitions.
“I am very surprised #BorisJohnson ran the campaign to get us out of the EU and didn’t have the guts to re establish the country! Odd move,” tweeted entrepreneur Mark Wright.
Wright said Johnson obviously did not truly want a Brexit. “He wanted a close race to show campaign leadership skills for a PM move later on. At what cost to us(?),” he tweeted.
Labour MP Jo Stevens responded with disgust, describing Johnson as “narcissism personified.”
“Cameron & #BorisJohnson wrecked the UK. And now neither will take any responsibility,” she tweeted.
CNN political contributor Robin Oakley said that “undoubtedly (people are) going to feel let down that he’s not standing,” adding that he had spoken to many people who had voted Leave due to the campaigning of Johnson, the larger-than-life former journalist.
“Something’s gone badly wrong here,” Oakley said, referring to the apparent split between Johnson and Justice Secretary Michael Gove, who had campaigned closely together in leading the Leave camp.
In a surprise move ahead of Johnson’s announcement, Gove announced that he himself had decided to run for the leadership, after concluding that Johnson “cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead.”
Gove, who was previously education secretary from 2010 to 2015, was the leading Leave campaigner within Cameron’s Cabinet.
British Justice Secretary Michael Gove leaves his home in London ahead of announcing his leadership bid.

British Justice Secretary Michael Gove leaves his home in London ahead of announcing his leadership bid.

Johnson’s decision means that five Conservative MPs will compete to replace Cameron, who announced his intention to resign after narrowly losing his campaign to persuade voters to remain in the EU in the national referendum last week.
They include three Cabinet ministers: Gove, Home Secretary Theresa May and Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb. Former defense secretary Liam Fox and Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom are also running.

May: Unity needed

May, Britain’s internal affairs chief since 2010, was expected to be the main rival to Johnson for the Conservative leadership, said Oakley. A Euroskeptic who voted Remain, she and Gove now appear to be the frontrunners to be Britain’s next PM.
British Home Secretary Theresa May launches her bid to become the next Conservative leader.

British Home Secretary Theresa May launches her bid to become the next Conservative leader.

Announcing her candidacy at an event in central London Thursday, she said post-referendum Britain needed “strong, proven leadership to steer us through this period of economic and political uncertainty and to negotiate the best possible terms as we leave the European Union.”
“We need leadership that can unite our party and our country,” she said.
“With the Labour Party tearing itself to pieces and divisive nationalists in Scotland and Wales, it is nothing less than the patriotic duty of our party to unite and govern in the best interest of the whole country.”
Gove had campaigned closely with Johnson for a Brexit, but said he had decided to run himself after concluding that Johnson “cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead.”
Crabb, a Cabinet minister and MP for the Welsh electorate of Preseli Pembrokeshire, announced his leadership ambitions at a news conference on Wednesday.
British Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb.

British Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb.

“On the rainy rugby fields of west Wales I learned that it’s not a question of waiting for the ball to pop out the back of the scrum — if you want it, you do what’s required and you get your hands on it,” said Crabb, who supported the Remain campaign.
MP Liam Fox, the former defense secretary who resigned from the government in 2011, put his hat into the ring Wednesday, while Leadsom announced her candidacy via Twitter Thursday. Both MPs supported the Leave vote.
“Delighted to say I’m running for the @Conservatives Leadership. Let’s make the most of the Brexit opportunities! #FreshStart,” she wrote.
Conservative MPs who wished to contest the leadership had until noon local time (7 a.m. ET) to declare their run.

Corbyn in anti-Semitism controversy

The referendum result sent shockwaves through the British political establishment, leaving the leadership of both major parties up for grabs as the country faces an uncertain future.
The opposition Labour Party is also in turmoil, with leader Jeremy Corbyn facing a coup from his own MPs amid criticisms he campaigned poorly to keep Britain in the EU. Corbyn has weathered a mass of defections from his leadership team and overwhelmingly lost a no-confidence vote by Labour MPs Tuesday, but is refusing to resign.
He is expected to face a formal challenge from his MPs once a rival leadership candidate is chosen.
Corbyn walked into a fresh firestorm Thursday when he appeared to compare the Israeli government to ISIS — at the launch of a report into alleged anti-Semitism within his party.
“Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those of various self-styled Islamic states or organizations,” Corbyn said, speaking at the launch of a report commissioned to investigate accusations of anti-Semitism within Labour’s ranks.
His comments drew swift criticism in Britain and Israel, with Israeli politicians calling on British Labour MPs to dump the embattled leader.
The inquiry was instigated in response to an anti-Semitism controversy that gripped the party earlier this year, after it was revealed that an MP had shared an image on social media, prior to taking office, which called for Israel to be relocated to the United States.
Wednesday, in the first Parliamentary session since the referendum, Cameron told Corbyn in a fiery exchange that he should step down “in the national interest.”
“It might be in my party’s interest for him to sit there. It’s not in the national interest, and I would say, for heaven’s sake man, go.”

May: ‘No second referendum’

Amid the post-referendum turmoil, members of the public, as well as MPs, have called for a second, do-over referendum before the government formally begins the process of leaving the European Union.
But although she campaigned to remain, May said Thursday that there could be no revisiting the vote.
“Brexit means Brexit. The campaign was fought. The vote was held. Turnout was high, and the public gave their verdict,” she said.
“There may be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it through the back door. And no second referendum.”
Total results
/ 382 districts reporting
Breakdown by region
/ districts reporting

CNN’s Alex Felton, Oren Liebermann, Richard Allen Greene and journalist Simon Cullen contributed to this report.

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Navy report: Crews detained by Iran were 'derelict' in their duties – USA TODAY

The crews of two U.S. Navy boats detained briefly by Iran in January were “derelict” in their duties during a mistake-prone mission in the Persian Gulf, a Navy investigation released Thursday concluded.

The investigation found that the crews of the riverine boats took an unauthorized shortcut through Iranian territorial waters because they were in a hurry, and were not prepared to resist or evade the Iranian naval ships that surrounded them off the coast of Iran’s Farsi Island on Jan. 12.

USA TODAY

Iran detains 2 U.S. Navy boats, 10 sailors in Persian Gulf

The mission to move the boats from Kuwait to Bahrain was plagued by poor decisions, bad training and little oversight, the report concluded.

“The RCB boat captains and crews were derelict in performing their duties to expected norms and standards,” the report said, referring to riverine command boats.

The boats and 10 crew members were captured without any shots fired, creating an embarrassing international incident for the Obama administration as it was defending a controversial nuclear agreement with Iran.

Iran used the incident for propaganda purposes, releasing a video of the Americans, including one in which the skipper of the ships seemed to apologize for straying into Iranian waters.

“Our actions on that day in January did not live up to our expectations of our Navy,” Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, said at a Pentagon briefing that announced the results of the investigation.

Three officers have already been fired from their jobs in connection with the incident and another six servicemembers will likely face disciplinary action, the Navy said.

The crews had only 24 hours notice that they were going to make the journey and had to stay up all night to ready the boats for the 250-nautical mile journey, according to the report which provided a detailed account of the incident. They got off late and decided to save time by taking a more direct route, which would take them through both Saudi and Iranian waters.

One of the boats broke down in the worst possible place, stranding the crew in waters only 1.5 nautical miles from Farsi Island, home to an Iranian Revolutionary Guard naval base, the investigation said. The crew members did not know they were in Iranian territorial waters, however, when they were approached by Iranian ships with sailors bearing their weapons.

The Iranians boarded the U.S. boat, forced the U.S. sailors to kneel with their hands behind their heads and replaced the U.S. flag on the vessel with an Iranian flag, the report said.

The crew was interrogated by the Iranians, who attempted to intimidate them by slapping the table and threatening to take them to the mainland, but did not physically harm them, according to the investigation. The Iranians also collected passwords to the U.S. sailors’ personal phones and laptops.

The Iranians videotaped a crewmember making an apology scripted by the Iranians, who said the crew would not be released unless he read the script. The report, which does not name the officer, said his actions violated the code of conduct for servicemen who are held captive.

They were held by the Iranians for 16 hours before being released. The Navy report said the Iranians violated basic maritime law and practice despite the U.S. mistakes. Ships often enter territorial waters and are generally allowed to transit through as long as they do not stop.

The report said the Iranians were justified in coming out to investigate the American ships, but not in holding them or preventing them from continuing their journey.

Two higher ranking officers have already been fired from their positions as a result of the investigation. Capt. Kyle Moses, who headed a task force that included riverine operations, was relieved of his command, the Navy said in a statement last week.

In May, the Navy relieved the commander of the riverine squadron, Cmdr. Eric Rasch.

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Joint Base Andrews on lockdown due to report of active shooter – Washington Post

The incident is ongoing at the Malcolm Grow Medical Facility at Joint Base Andrews, the base said on its official Twitter account. First responders are on-scene now.

All personnel have been directed to shelter in place.

“The base was scheduled to conduct an active shooter exercise, however, reports of a real-world active shooter situation were reported at Malcolm Grow medical facility,” according to a statement released by the base.

The U.S. military facility, located in Prince George’s County, Md., is the home of Air Force One.

Air Force One landed at Andrews on Wednesday night, following President Obama’s trip to Canada. According to a White House pool report, the president deplaned at 9:15 p.m. and “stepped aboard Marine One a moment later.”

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

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Turkey, a Conduit for Fighters Joining ISIS, Begins to Feel Its Wrath – New York Times

PARIS — When the bodies of Islamic State fighters are recovered on the Syrian battlefield, the passports found on them have often been stamped in Turkey, which thousands of recruits pass through on their way to join the terror group.

Fighters who call relatives abroad often do so using Turkish cellphone numbers, and when they need cash, they head to Western Union offices in southern Turkey, according to court and intelligence documents.

From the start of the Islamic State’s rise through the chaos of the Syrian war, Turkey has played a central, if complicated, role in the group’s story. For years, it served as a rear base, transit hub and shopping bazaar for the Islamic State, and at first, that may have protected Turkey from the violence the group has inflicted elsewhere.

Now, the Turkish government and Western officials say the suicide bombings at Istanbul’s main airport on Tuesday bore the hallmarks of an Islamic State attack, and they have added them to a growing roll call of assaults attributed to the group in Turkey in recent months.

Analysts said Turkey was paying the price for intensifying its action against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh. Under mounting international pressure, the country began sealing its border last year, as well as arresting and deporting suspected militants. And last summer, Turkey allowed the United States to use Incirlik Air Base to fly sorties over the group’s territory in Syria and Iraq.

“Turkey has been cracking down on some of the transit of foreign fighters who are flowing into as well as out of Turkey, and they are part of the coalition providing support, allowing their territory to be used by coalition aircraft,” the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John O. Brennan, said in an interview this week with Yahoo News. “So there are a lot of reasons why Daesh would want to strike back.”

Soon after the government’s decision to allow airstrikes to be carried out from the base in southern Turkey, the Islamic State began naming Turkey as a target, according to Michael S. Smith II, an analyst who closely tracks the group’s messaging. Last fall, the cover of the group’s Dabiq magazine ominously featured a photo of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, standing alongside President Obama.

The attacks attributed to the Islamic State began around then, too, including devastating bombings in the southern city of Suruc in July 2015 and in Ankara, the capital, in October. This year, two suicide bombings targeted tourists in Istanbul.

The Islamic State was blamed for all of those attacks, yet none of them were claimed by the group, despite its habit of reveling in its violence elsewhere in the world. While officials blamed it for the attack on the Istanbul airport, the group’s daily news bulletins for Tuesday and Wednesday made no mention of the bombing. Its main English-language channel on the Telegram encrypted messaging app instead posted a photo essay of fighters in fatigues posing with automatic weapons on a hill in Deir al-Zour, Syria.

Some analysts saw this as the Islamic State trying to have it both ways: punishing Turkey for starting to act against it, but leaving enough of a gray area that it avoids a full-on clash with a country that has been valuable to its operations.

Still, there has clearly been a shift.

“Since mid-2015, a significant rise in pejorative references to the Erdogan government in Islamic State propaganda has indicated Turkey is now in its cross hairs,” Mr. Smith said, adding that this kind of rhetoric also preceded attacks in Western Europe and beyond. “An increase in terrorist attacks in Europe, in North Africa, in Bangladesh and in the Caucasus region were all preceded by increased focus on these areas in Islamic State propaganda materials.”

The group’s long honeymoon with Turkey started with the country’s aid to rebel groups that were fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad of Syria, often with the blessing of Western intelligence agencies, according to analysts. At the start, the Islamic State fit into that category, though it then began focusing more on eliminating competitors than fighting Mr. Assad.

Among the competitors the group was killing were Turkey’s avowed enemies: Kurdish separatists sheltering in Syria and Iraq. Turkey’s Western allies began accusing it of clinging to ambivalence toward the Islamic State. Even when it began strikes against the group last summer, its actions against the Kurds were more numerous and intense.

The centrality of Turkey for foreign volunteers flocking to the Islamic State is evident in court documents and intelligence records. Dozens of young men and women were arrested by the F.B.I. in the United States and by officials in Western Europe after they booked flights to Istanbul. Because so many of the group’s foreign fighters passed through Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, the destination itself became synonymous with intent to join ISIS.

By 2015, the group was advising recruits to book round-trip tickets to beach resorts in southern Turkey instead, and to be sure to spend a few days pretending to be a tourist as a ruse.

That was the technique used by Reda Hame, a 29-year-old Parisian recruit. He explained to interrogators last summer, after he was arrested upon returning to France to carry out an attack, that he had made sure to buy a package stay at a beach resort in southern Turkey specifically because he wanted to throw off investigators, who knew to look for suspects heading to Istanbul. “I bought an all-inclusive holiday so that I could pass myself off as a tourist,” he said, according to a transcript of his interrogation by France’s domestic intelligence agency in August.

Thousands of pages of investigative documents from the agency, recently obtained by The New York Times, show that nearly all of the recruits arrested by officials in Europe had passed through Turkey on their way to join the Islamic State, as well as on their way back.

Seamus Hughes, the deputy director of George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, said that Turkey also figured heavily in the travel patterns of American adherents trying to join the group.

“The vast majority of American ISIS recruits used, or considered using, Turkey as their route,” said Mr. Hughes, who provided a breakdown showing that, of the 91 people charged with ISIS-related offenses in the United States, 18 purchased tickets through Istanbul, and 15 others either traveled through Turkey or considered doing so.

When Islamic State fighters communicated with worried family members, it was often with Turkish SIM cards. And investigation records reviewed by The Times show that two fighters who were arrested in Austria late last year, and who the police believed were supposed to take part in the Paris attacks on Nov. 13, had been sent money from their ISIS handler through a Western Union office in Turkey.

In his fortified office in northern Syria, Redur Khalil — the spokesman for the Y.P.G., the main Syrian Kurdish group fighting the Islamic State — keeps a stack of passports found on the bodies of the fighters his group has killed. He brings them out for reporters and turns the pages to show the Turkish entry stamps they all bear: proof, he said in an interview last summer, that the terrorist group’s foot soldiers are passing through Turkey.

Islamic State prisoners being held by the Kurds, whom The Times interviewed in the presence of a Y.P.G. minder, all said that they had moved freely across the Turkish border into Syria.

Bulent Aliriza, director of the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Turkey and its Western allies had not been quick enough to recognize the threat the Islamic State would pose.

He said that when the rebel groups in Syria began to gain strength, Turkey had nods of approval from the C.I.A. and MI6, the British intelligence agency, to allow arms and volunteers across its border and into rebel camps.

“Where Turkey can be accused of negligence is failing to understand, just as Pakistan did with the Taliban, that these radicals who crossed Turkey to get into Syria would morph into an organization that not only threatened the West, but ultimately itself,” Mr. Aliriza said. “The threat assessment simply did not happen fast enough.”

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