inferno Grenfell Tower in #London

Fire safety at London’s Grenfell Tower placed under review last year
Residents warned of ‘dangerous living conditions’ as owner ordered changes to way it handled fire risk in its properties.

Residents of Grenfell Tower have said they raised multiple concerns about the risk of fire in the months before the fatal blaze, but were “brushed away” by the council’s tenant management organisation.

Survivors of the disaster said on Wednesday they had raised fears about the fact that there was only one escape route. They also told the Kensington and Chelsea tenant management organisation (KCTMO) of their concerns over the placement of boilers and gas pipes, the absence of a building-wide fire alarm or sprinkler system, and piles of rubbish being dumped and causing a fire risk.

Investigations have begun into the cause of the fire and how it swept so rapidly up the 24 storeys, apparently spreading across a new thermal cladding system installed last year as part of a £10m refurbishment.

Only last November, residents in the Grenfell Action Group had warned about “dangerous living conditions” and said: “It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO.”

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#Qatar Airways extends network with new #Dublin route

Qatar Airways landed in Dublin on Monday, inaugurating a new daily service connecting the Irish city to the airline’s growing network, according to a statement.

The flight, with its next-generation Airbus A350, marked the special occasion, as Qatar Airways’ daily Dublin service would continue to operate with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which has a two-class configuration that includes 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class.

Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker welcomed the new route as an “important milestone” for the airline.

“The new service will connect the Irish people with more destinations globally and provide them the opportunity to experience our five-star service,” Akbar said in a statement on its website.

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The Dublin route marks the airline’s first service to Ireland, which connects passengers to its network to the Middle East, Asia and Australia, as well as easing connections to Australia and Hong Kong.

The route also provides Qatar Airways Cargo customers 80 metric tons of belly-hold capacity each week, a service that boasts temperature-controlled facilities, including for perishables, the statement further said.

Following the Dublin launch, the carrier is set to add flights to more destination through 2017 and 2018, including Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Accra, Ghana; Canberra, Australia; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Chittagong, Bangladesh; Mombasa, Kenya; and Utapao, Thailand.

Read also: Qatar Airways to loan laptops to passengers

Source – TheJakartaPost

#Panama switches to #China, cuts ties with #Taiwan

BEIJING – Panama and China announced Tuesday they were establishing diplomatic relations, as the Central American nation became the latest to dump Taiwan for closer ties with the world’s second-largest economy.

The move prompted an angry response from Taiwan and will likely further strain ties between Taipei and Beijing, which considers the self-ruled island a renegade province awaiting reunification with the mainland.

Taiwan is recognized by around 20 countries worldwide and its status is one of the most politically sensitive issues for Chinese leaders who pressure trade partners to accept its “one China” principle.

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela said in a nationally televised message “to the country and the world” that “Panama and China establish diplomatic relations today”.

The two countries issued a joint statement saying: “In light of the interests and wishes of both peoples, the Republic of Panama and People’s Republic of China have decided to grant each other, from the date of this document’s signing, mutual recognition, establishment of diplomatic ties at the ambassadorial level.”

After decades of siding with Taiwan in the disagreement over its status, Panama now “recognises that there is only one China in the world” and that Taiwan is part of Chinese territory.

 Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Panamanian counterpart Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado signed the communique in Beijing.

“This is a historic moment, China-Panama relations have opened a new chapter,” Wang said, adding that Panama’s decision was in “complete accordance” with its people’s interests and “in keeping with the times”.

Saint Malo said Panama and China had made an “important step” and started a “new page in our strategic relations”

The announcement comes after Beijing began construction last week of a container port, with natural gas facilities, in Panama’s northern province of Colon.

Panama had long stressed it had diplomatic ties with Taipei and commercial ones with Beijing.

Chinese ships, after those from the United States, are the number two users of the Panama Canal, the Central American country’s main source of budget revenue.

Taiwan’s anger 

Panama is the latest country to cut ties with Taiwan.

In December China signed an agreement to restore diplomatic relations with Sao Tome and Principe after the African nation ditched the island.

Taiwan reacted furiously to the latest move.

“We strongly condemn Beijing for manipulating the so-called ‘one China’ policy to continue to suppress Taiwan’s international space through various means,” the presidential office said.

“This kind of action is not only an open threat to Taiwanese people’s survival and welfare but also an open provocation to peace and stability in the Taiwan strait and the region.”

Diplomatic tussles between Taiwan and Beijing eased under the island’s previous Beijing-friendly government.

But relations have deteriorated since President Tsai Ing-wen’s China-sceptic Democratic Progressive Party was swept to power in a landslide election victory last year.

Tsai has refused to acknowledge the concept that Taiwan is part of “one China”, unlike her predecessor Ma Ying-jeou.

Cross-strait tensions have been further exacerbated by a highly unusual call from Tsai to congratulate then US President-elect Donald Trump, who questioned Washington’s policy towards the island, including its decision to not formally recognize its government.

Source – TheNation

The Smurfs are now the tourism ambassadors of Brussels

The campaign was launched simultaneously in cities across Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Britain, with the assistance of the Brussels-born blue inhabitants who were dispatched to promote their city.

The Brussels tourism office is dispatching a special delegation of Smurfs as part of a major tourism campaign aimed at bringing back tourists following last year’s terrorist attack.

Dubbed “Where will Brussels take you” the tourism offensive is meant to boost lagging visitor numbers following the terror attacks which killed 32 people at the Brussels airport and metro station last spring.

“Numerous actions were undertaken immediately after the attacks and have yielded positive results,” said Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President in a statement.

“We have witnessed a very clear recovery of tourism in Brussels at the beginning of the year.

The campaign ‘Where will Brussels take you’ represents an additional effort and aims at revealing our region’s hidden secrets – the best and most remarkable of what Brussels has to offer.”

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The campaign was launched simultaneously in cities across Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Britain, with the assistance of the Brussels-born blue inhabitants who were dispatched to promote their city.

An online platform called ­takemeto.­brussels has also been launched to help visitors personalise their trip.

The site offers recommendations on the best restaurants, Instagram-worthy sites, museums for kids, best coffee and wine bars.

As part of the promotional campaign, the tourism office is also giving away a city break to Brussels every week, which includes accommodation and transportation within Europe.

The campaign ends Oct 31.

Read also: It’s time to visit Smurf village

Source – TheJakartaPost

Rafael Nadal wins record-breaking 10th French Open

Rafael Nadal coasted to a record 10th French Open title on Sunday, demolishing Stan Wawrinka in a brutally one-sided final which also earned the Spaniard a 15th Grand Slam crown.

Nadal, 31, triumphed 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 to become the first man in history to win the same major 10 times.

His collection of Slams now stands just three behind great rival Roger Federer, a staggering statistic coming just a year after he quit Roland Garros with a wrist injury.

Playing in his 22nd Grand Slam final, Nadal triumphed in Paris without dropping a set for a third time.

He also lost just 35 games in total and only six in the final, his most comprehensive victory since allowing Roger Federer four games in the 2008 final.

“It’s really incredible. To win La Decima is very, very special,” said Nadal.

“I am very emotional. The feeling I have is impossible to describe.

“It’s difficult to compare with other tournaments but the nerves and adrenaline I feel, it’s like no other place.”

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Once Hollywood A-lister Nicole Kidman had helped unbox the Coupe des Mousquetaires to a crowd already wilting in 30-degree heat, the final was underway.

It was the 22nd Slam finale for Nadal; just the fourth for Wawrinka, the oldest man in the championship match in 44 years.

Sunday was also the first time since 1969 that the Roland Garros final had featured two men over 30.

Despite having spent more than five hours on court getting to the final, 2015 champion Wawrinka had the first break point in the third game.

The 32-year-old couldn’t take it and it proved to be the only break point he earned all afternoon.

From there, it was all downhill.

Nadal was unable to convert four break points in the fourth game.

No matter as he broke through for 4-2 and then went to set point in the eighth game after a relentless forehand barrage sapped the will out of Wawrinka.

A backhand which sailed long gave Nadal the first set with the Spaniard having crunched 10 winners to Wawrinka’s four while committing half the unforced errors.

Nadal forced Wawrinka into another forehand error to break for 2-0 in the second set before the Swiss halted a run of seven games lost with a hold for 1-3.

But the song remained the same, Nadal taking the set in the ninth game, just moments after Wawrinka, who knocked out world number one Andy Murray in the semis, had destroyed a racquet in utter frustration.

First game of the third set and Nadal broke again as the man who stunned him in the 2014 Australian Open final suffered further damage.

Nadal was soon a double break to the good for 4-1, held for 5-1 and then claimed a huge slice of history when Wawrinka limply dropped a backhand into the net.

Source – TheJakartaPost

Update Hotel Listings

Today we updated different Hotel Listing Pages

We try to provide with the best information’s about Hotels, Resorts and Flights.

We use several Booking programs like –

BOOKING.COM

AGODA.COM

HOTELSCOMBINED.COM

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We appreciated your comments and suggestions.

Airplane #Myanmar (Burma) Air Force missing

An airplane of Myanmar’s air force has disappeared from the radar. That has declared the army of the country today. The unit has 116 people on board.

The Communication with the plane was suddenly broken, according to the army. The airplane was flew at more than 30 kilometers west of Dawei City, in southern Myanmar, former Burma.

Source – The Dutch AD

Nothing reported yet on the Myanmar Times

PS – Found more information

Tatmadaw transportation plane Y-8 missing; search and rescue operations under way

Nay Pyi Taw June 7

The Tatmadaw welfare transportation plane (Y-8-200 F No. 5820) carrying 108 military personnel and family members and 14 crew members and about 2.4 tons of cargo on board started flying from Myeik to Yangon at 1.06 pm today in accordance with the route Yangon-Myeik-Pokkpyin-Myeik-Yangon. While the aircraft was flying at an altitude of 18,000 feet, it lost contact with the Dawei Air-port at 195° southwest of Dawei about 43 miles from the town at 1.35 pm.

After losing contact with the aircraft, Air Force aircraft, Navy vessels and ground troops conducted search and rescue operations at a place between 13.48 degrees north latitude and 98.02 degrees east longitude where contact from the plane was last received. There was certain degree of waves at the sea during the time the incident occurred. When the weather became fine at about 6 pm local vessels joined in the search and rescue operations. Currently, nine Navy vessels, three Air Force planes and ground troops are carrying out search and rescue work in cooperation with local vessels.

The plane, Y-8-200 F, arrived in March last year. It had 809 flying hours in the service of Air Force. It was operated by seasoned pilot Officiating Lt-Col Nyein Chan with 3,162 flying hours, co-pilot Officiating Lt-Col Soe Thu Win with 3,161 flying hours, co-pilot Maj Thant Zin Htay with 2,403 flying hours and flight engineer Capt Kyaw Soe. It has a 14-member flight crew. Passengers were 35 officers and other ranks and 15 children (6 boys, 9 girls) and 58 adults (13 men, 45 women) who were families members totaling 108.

#Indonesia may lose 50,000 tourists because of #Qatar crisis

The Indonesian government is predicting that the recent severing of ties between several Arab countries and Qatar would deal a blow to the archipelago’s tourism industry, with 50,000 expected tourists not showing up because of the crisis, a senior official said on Tuesday.

That is the number of visitors Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said Qatar Airways, for the most part, would have brought to Indonesia this year. 

“Given that seven months are left in the year 2017, we estimate we will lose about 50,000 foreign tourists as a result of the boycott of Qatar,” Arief told reporters at the State Palace on Tuesday. 

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In order to reduce the expected loss, Arief said his ministry would coordinate with the Transportation Ministry to transfer the license given to the Qatari airline to other airlines, such as Emirates and Etihad. 

“First of all, I will ask the Transportation Ministry to transfer the aircraft license given to Qatar [Airways] to other airlines. We have no option as they [Qatar Airways] could not fly their aircraft anyway,” Arief said. 

Qatar Airways said on its official website it had suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia and several of its allies on Monday cut relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremism.

Source – TheJakartaPost

Andy Murray downed longtime rival Juan Martin del Potro to reach the Roland Garros

PARIS, Andy Murray downed longtime rival Juan Martin del Potro to reach the Roland Garros last 16 Saturday while French hopes were overshadowed by a bitter feud between two of their top stars.

World number one Murray triumphed 7-6 (10/8), 7-5, 6-0 for his seventh win in 10 meetings with Del Potro whose challenge fizzled out after squandering four set points in the 87-minute opener.

Murray, the runner-up to Novak Djokovic in 2016, will next face either John Isner of the United States or Russia’s Karen Khachanov.

That match was one of six still to be completed when rain halted play at 1705 local time (1505 GMT).

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“I expected a very tough match. Whoever won that first set would have the momentum as it would have been very difficult to come back in these heavy, slow conditions,” said Murray.

“He was playing much better than me in the first set. He had chances in the first set, he double faulted on set point.”

In a titanic first set, Del Potro wasted four set points then saved two before Murray pounced when the Argentine star narrowly miscued.

The 28-year-old slumped over the net and stayed that way during most of the changeover to catch his breath.

Del Potro, playing in Paris for the first time in five years after a series of wrist injuries, was quickly a break down in the second set.

He retrieved it when Murray served for the set in the 10th game before handing the advantage straight back.

Murray seized his lifeline, a fourth ace giving him a two-set lead.

– Weary Del Potro –

===================

Weary Del Potro, who had already summoned the doctor early in the second set, knew his challenge was over and he managed just 11 points in the third set.

“Andy proved he is a real No. 1,” said Del Potro. “He is one of the smartest guys on the circuit.”

Third seed Stan Wawrinka saved four set points in the opener before running away with 16 of the last 19 games to beat Italy’s Fabio Fognini 7-6 (7/2), 6-0, 6-2.

Former US Open champion Marin Cilic continued his smooth progress seeing off Feliciano Lopez, who was limited by a neck injury, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.

Croatian seventh seed Cilic will next meet South Africa’s Kevin Anderson who matched his best run with a five-set win over Britain’s Kyle Edmund.

Anderson twice recovered from a set down to advance 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/4), 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 in just under four hours in a duel between two players born in Johannesburg.

In the women’s event, France have three women in the last 16 for the first time in 23 years.

However, that success is overshadowed by a bitter feud between compatriots Alize Cornet and Caroline Garcia who will clash for a place in the quarter-finals.

Cornet reached the last 16 for just the second time with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Polish ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska who lost all her seven service games.

Garcia, seeded 28, made the fourth round of a Slam for the first time with a 6-4, 4-6, 9-7 win over Taiwan’s world number 109 Hsieh Su-Wei.

Those wins guaranteed the home nation will have at least one quarter-finalist in Paris for the first time since Marion Bartoli in 2011.

However, Cornet admitted that her relationship with Garcia has virtually broken down.

“I think that the relationship is not very good,” said 27-year-old Cornet. “I think she may have a grudge against us.”

Garcia fell out with her teammates earlier this year after she pulled out of a Fed Cup tie.

Romanian third seed and 2014 runner-up Simona Halep sealed her place in the fourth round with a 6-0, 7-5 win over Russia’s Daria Kasatkina.

Halep, 25, will face Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro for a place in the quarter-finals.

Suarez Navarro, the 21st seed and a two-time quarter-finalist, made the fourth round for the fifth time.

She eased past Russian 14th seed Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-4 in a match which featured a 17-minute service game, punctuated by 11 deuces, for the Russian in the second set.

Source – TheNation

Champions League Final in Cardiff

JUVENTUS 1-4 REAL MADRID

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as holders Real Madrid were crowned champions of Europe for a record 12th time after outclassing 10-man Juventus in a high-quality Champions League final in Cardiff.

Ronaldo put Real ahead with a first-time finish from 16 yards before Mario Mandzukic equalised from just inside the area with a sensational overhead kick beyond Keylor Navas.

Real took control after the interval, Brazilian midfielder Casemiro’s deflected shot restoring the lead before Ronaldo sealed victory for Zinedine Zidane’s side after poking home from close range following Luka Modric’s cross.

Juventus played the last six minutes with 10 men after substitute Juan Cuadrado was booked twice inside 18 minutes, before substitute Marco Asensio hit the fourth after Marcelo’s fine pass.

Zidane has now won back-to-back Champions Leagues – as well as this season’s La Liga title – since he took charge of Real in January 2016.

Italian champions Juventus have lost five Champions League finals since they last won the competition in 1996.

Real forward Gareth Bale came on as a 77th-minute substitute in his home city after recovering from a calf injury.

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”GOALS”

Cristiano Ronaldo 20′ – 0-1 (Real Madrid)
Mario Mandžukic 27′ – 1-1 (Juventus)
Casemiro 61′ – 1-2 (Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo 64′ – 1-3 (Real Madrid)
Marco Asensio 90′ – 1-4 (Real Madrid)