Friday, July 29, 2011

"Golden Rule" vs "Socialist Austerity"

Pierre Moscovici, who is "coordinating" François Hollande's campaign, opposes Sarkozy's "golden rule" (a foolish and misguided balanced budget amendment to the constitution) but insists that the PS will reduce the deficit to the Maastricht limit of 3% by 2013 if elected in 2012.

Moscovici : un déficit à 3% dès 2013

by Europe1fr

Virage sécuritaire

It's been a year since President Sarkozy made his "tough on crime" speech in Grenoble? What's happened since then? Not much, according to Rue89. As so often in the Sarkozy presidency, rhetorical aggression provoked a heated initial response, but neither rhetoric nor response amounted to much in concrete terms, and the country is left pretty much where it was, increasing cynicism among both supporters of the president and the opposition.


The investigators seem to be convinced that 3 pilots with more than 20,000 hours total flying time failed to recognize a stall and responded in precisely the wrong way to the situation. They recommend revised training procedures:

The report itself stops short of any final conclusions, which are not expected to be made public until early next year. But initial findings highlighted by investigators indicate that the two co-pilots in the cockpit at the time the plane ran into trouble had never been trained to fly the aircraft in manual mode, nor had they been instructed how to promptly recognize and respond to a malfunction of their speed sensors at high altitude — both crucial skills that experts say should have helped them to avert disaster.
The report nevertheless fails to address the central mystery of the event: how, despite the persistent sounding of the stall warning alarm, none of the pilots thought "stall" or suggested that the pilot in command drop the nose:

As abruptly as the plane climbed — at 7,000 feet per minute, more than twice the rate at take-off — its recorded speed declined, dropping almost instantaneously from 275 knots to 60 knots, the minimum valid velocity recognized by the plane’s computers.
A stall warning sounded twice. The pilots tried several times to call the captain back from his rest area. However, the investigators noted, “neither of the pilots made any reference to the stall warning” — a departure from standard industry procedures. “Neither of the pilots formally identified the stall situation,” they added.
About a minute later, the captain returned to the cockpit. The plane’s airspeed readings continued to fluctuate wildly. Meanwhile, its nose was pointing upward from the airstream at about 16 degrees — far beyond the maximum angle of around 5 degrees that is considered to be safe at high altitudes, where the air is thin.
But the pilots could not know this, the report said, because that information — known as the angle of attack — is not directly displayed in the cockpit.
As the plane plunged toward the sea at vertical speed of nearly 11,000 feet per minute, its angle of attack continued to increase, at one point exceeding 40 degrees.
Investigators recommended Friday that air safety regulators worldwide consider requiring jet manufacturers to include an angle of attack indicator “directly accessible to pilots.”

More About Diallo

From Christopher Dickey:

Diallo then applied for assistance from the widely respected International Rescue Committee, which helped her to get her job at the Sofitel laundry. She soon moved up to the maid service. But that created new problems for her in her Muslim community, according to several elders who spoke with Newsweek/The Daily Beast. Working as a hotel maid was seen as demeaning, and also as the kind of job that puts a properly modest Muslim woman in too close proximity to unknown men. That she often declined to wear the Muslim headscarf known as the hijab also brought criticism. Among conservative Muslims, the fact of her employment as a maid alone could be enough for her to be branded a prostitute.