TIME Kentucky

Girl Survives Kentucky Plane Crash That Killed 4

Kentucky Plane Crash
Timothy D. Easley—AP Salvage workers bring out part of a Piper PA-34's fuselage, wing, and landing gear from a crash site Jan. 4, 2015 in Kuttawa, Ky. Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the crash site Sunday in Kentucky in which a 7-year-old girl survived and four of her family members were killed.

A “brave little girl” who survived a deadly plane crash in remote eastern Kentucky on Friday walked away from the wreckage to seek help at a stranger’s doorstep.

Larry Wilkins, 71, was watching the local news at his Buckberry Trail home at around 6:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. ET) when he said he heard a knock.

“The little girl come to my door,” Wilkins told NBC News in a telephone interview late Friday. “She was bleeding pretty bad, her legs were bleeding, her face had a bloody nose…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME ebola

U.N. Official Says Ebola Can Be Beat in 2015

Red Cross workers carry away the body of a person suspected of dying from the Ebola virus, in the Monrovia, Liberia on Oct. 4, 2014.
Pascal Guyot—AFP/Getty Images Red Cross workers carry away the body of a person suspected of dying from the Ebola virus in Monrovia, Liberia on Oct. 4, 2014.

"We have a long and difficult way to go," U.N. health official says

A United Nations official said Friday that the Ebola outbreak can be stomped out in 2015 but that months of hard work remain to stop the virus that has killed almost 8,000 people.

“We have not come anywhere close to ending the crisis. We’ve done a lot in 90 days in a very successful response but we have a long and difficult way to go,” Anthony Banbury, head of the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response told reporters.

His comments were reported by Reuters.

Read more: The Ebola fighters are TIME’s 2014 Person of the Year

“It’s going to go on for not just weeks but some months more,” Banbury said. “But I believe we will do it in 2015 and we’re going to do it by working very closely not just with governments of the countries but the communities.”

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon created the international body’s Ebola mission in September to ramp up the international response to the crisis. Banbury is the outgoing mission chief. He’ll be replaced by Ould Cheikh Ahmed on Saturday.

[Reuters]

TIME Aviation

30 Bodies Found So Far in AirAsia Crash

Weather still slowing search

PANGKALAN BUN, Indonesia — Search crews have now recovered 30 bodies from the AirAsia crash, including five who were found still strapped in their seats, Indonesian officials said.

Col. Yayan Sofiyan, commander of the warship Bung Tomo, told MetroTV that the five were among seven bodies retrieved from the Java Sea and taken to an Indonesian vessel Friday. Indonesian search and rescue chief Henry Bambang Soelistyo later said a total of 30 bodies have been recovered from Flight 8501.

There were 162 passengers and crew onboard the plane that went down Sunday, half-way through a flight from Indonesia to Singapore.

Read the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME North Korea

Watch North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Take the Controls of an Airplane

The North Korean dictator appears in a bombastic new propaganda film “piloting” an aircraft

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un appears in a new propaganda film in which, for some reason known only to Kim and perhaps his team of propagandists, the king of the hermit kingdom appears to be flying an airplane, sort of.

In a video posted to YouTube on New Year’s Eve by the account ‘stimmekoreas’, which has posted other videos related to North Korea in the past, the supreme leader of the DPRK can be seen taking off and landing a large plane with what looks like a substantial amount of assistance from his co-pilot. The video is accompanied by a marching band soundtrack and bombastic narration typical of other North Korean propaganda masterpieces.

Read more: Check Out Kim Jong Un’s Magical Disappearing Eyebrows

Kim’s pilot movie went online around the time he delivered a New Year’s address in which he said the DPRK was open to engaging in talks with South Korea. The two countries have been in a state of mostly frozen warfare since the Korean War settled into an uneasy armistice after 1953.

Though certainly important, the message of that speech was somewhat overshadowed by the mystery of Kim Jong Un’s disappearing eyebrows.

TIME North Korea

Check Out Kim Jong Un’s Magical Disappearing Eyebrows

Kim Jong-Un's eyebrows
KCNA/Reuters (3) From left: Kim Jong Un delivers a New Year's address on Jan. 1, 2015, Jan. 1, 2014, and Jan. 1, 2013.

The North Korean leaders eyebrows appear suddenly shrunken

When you’re the dictator of a totalitarian hermit state built on fear and mass delusion, it can be really hard to make the right fashion choices for each season.

The new eyebrow look sported by leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Jong Un, may illustrate the pitfalls of having no one left to tell you “No…omg seriously just no.”

Kim Jong Un delivered a televised speech on Thursday in which he said the North is open to engaging in serious talks with South Korea. It was an important and almost conciliatory message, but one that was overshadowed — or undershadowed? — by the leader’s shrunken eyebrows.

READ MORE Watch North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Take the Controls of an Airplane

In what looks to be a case of over plucking, Kim Jong Un has rendered his eyebrows in to mere dashes.

The South China Morning Post posits that Kim’s new forehead hyphens may be an effort to change his appearance to look more like his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, the first leader of North Korea.

Maybe the DPRK hoped to distract from Kim’s new look by releasing a propaganda video of the leader piloting a large airplane.

Read next: Kim Jong Un Says He Is Open To ‘Highest Level Talks’ With South Korea

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TIME Germany

German Neo-Nazis Embrace Vegan Cooking, Techno Music, Stylish Clothes

Far-right extremists recently launched a "Vegan Cooking Channel" on YouTube

(MUNICH, Germany) — Neo-Nazis are keeping their black combat boots and bomber jackets in the closet as they try to force their way into mainstream German society.

Security officials say many young fascists are adopting more stylish and less intimidating images, with some branded “nipsters” after embracing hipster-style clothing as well as techno and hip hop music.

Far-right extremists even recently launched a “Vegan Cooking Channel” on YouTube featuring masked young men preparing simple recipes and providing household tips.

“If the young people don’t find skinhead types attractive, then they [the neo-Nazis] will simply die out, so they have to find something new,” said Daniel Koehler, an expert on radicalization…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Italy

Italian Navy Rescues 450 Migrants Adrift on the Mediterranean

The group of mostly Syrian refugees were in a ship which had lost power

The Italian coast guard has taken control of a ship on Friday which was spotted adrift off the coast of Italy after being abandoned by its crew, the BBC reports. The Ezadeen, which is carrying some 450 migrants, was apparently headed for the coast before it lost power.

News of the second abandoned ship comes just two days after nearly 1,000 migrants were rescued from another vessel, the Blue Sky M, earlier this week.

The Ezadeen was sailing under the flag of Sierra Leone but most of the migrants on board are believed to be Syrian. Commander Filippo Marini of the Italian Coast Guard said the 240-ft Ezadeen, a livestock carrier built in 1966, probably set sail from Turkey toward France.

It is now being towed by an Icelandic ship belonging to the E.U. Frontex border control mission, which was launched after Italy wound down its search-and-rescue operation, Mare Nostrum, in November. The Italian coast guard said the ship is being towed to the southern Italian port of Crotone.

[BBC]

TIME Aviation

Bad Weather Is Hampering the Recovery of AirAsia Bodies

Indonesia Mourns AirAsia Crash As Recovery Operation Continues
Ulet Ifansasti—Getty Images Members of an Indonesian search and rescue team carry the body of a victim of the AirAsia flight QZ8501 crash from a USS navy helicopter at Iskandar Airbase on January 02, 2015 in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.

The longer they're in the water, the more difficult identification becomes

The first identified victim of AirAsia Flight QZ 8501 has been laid to rest, but the agony continues for most families as officials say it may take another week for the wreckage to be found, with tempestuous conditions hampering the recovery of remains.

Hayati Lutfiah Hamid, 49, was buried on New Year’s Day, surrounded by friends and family in the village of Sawotratap, a few kilometers outside Indonesia’s second city of Surabaya, from where the doomed Airbus A320-200 departed early Sunday bound for Singapore.

But three members of her family who were with her on the plane still have not been identified.

“Their house has been in a panic since Sunday,” a neighbor named Umaroyah told Reuters. “Everyone in the neighborhood knows someone who was on that plane.”

On Friday, three more of the 22 bodies so far recovered were identified. They were Kevin Alexander Soetjipto, an alum of St. Albertus Catholic high school in Malang; Grayson Herbert Linaksita, a resident of Surabaya; and flight attendant Khairunnisa Haidar, 22. All four identified to date are Indonesian nationals.

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes tweeted Friday that he would accompany his crew member’s remains to join their families. Palembang is Khairunnisa’s hometown.

F.H. Bambang Soelistyo, the head of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), told a press conference Friday in Jakarta that the priorities today are to find the body of the plane and the black box in addition to the search and recovery of the bodies.

However, waves of up to 4 m (13 ft.) on Friday meant that the 47 divers charged with finding more of the 162 passengers and crew were struggling to work.

Some 29 ships and 17 aircraft are busy scouring the busy Karimata Strait for wreckage. Reports on Wednesday that the plane had been found on the seabed seem to have been premature, but the search area Friday was whittled down to around 1,575 square nautical miles.

This is was significantly reduced from Thursday’s search zone of some 13,500 sq km — roughly the size of Connecticut.

According to David Newbery, a Hong Kong flight captain and accredited aircraft-accident investigator, “The spot where the plane vanished from radar simply represents when there was a power interruption to the electronics. An airplane without any engines could glide for over 100 miles from 32,000 ft.”

Basarnas says it will speed up sending recovered bodies from Pangkalan Bun, in Central Kalimantan province, to Surabaya, in East Java, to minimize further deterioration. “As soon as the bodies arrive in Pangkalan Bun, we will evacuate them to Surabaya because we are worried the [local] hospital isn’t sterile,” the Basarnas operational director S.B. Supriyadi told reporters Friday in the Central Kalimantan town.

He later added that eight bodies had now been sent Surabaya, 10 were in the hospital at Pangkalan Bun and four were aboard a search vessel.

Forensic attempts to identify one of those recovered have already proved problematic, because fingerprints are inconclusive after bodies have been exposed to seawater for so long. Other identification methods, such as dental records and DNA, take much longer to process, meaning there’s a race against time for families to gain much needed closure and perform funeral rites.

On Thursday, French agency BEA, which investigates all fatal accidents involving Airbus planes, said its investigators were helping with underwater searches for the aircraft’s two data recorders.

Finding the data recorders, colloquially known as black boxes, is crucial to determining what made the single-aisle, twin-engine jetliner crash. Latest analysis of radar signals indicate the plane may have made an extremely steep climb and descent, possibly because of severe weather.

With reporting by Yenni Kwok

TIME Pakistan

The Fear That Haunts Peshawar

Pakistan
Mohammad Sajjad—AP A Pakistani religious student stands before a tire set on fire by anti-government protesters, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014 in Peshawar, Pakistan. Police have arrested demonstrators demanding the government to unmask culprits of the Taliban attack on a military run school where scores of children were killed on Dec. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

After the Taliban killed 147 people at a local school, 136 of them children, nobody in Pakistan's frontier city feels safe

Two weeks after a Taliban attack on a local school killed 147 people, 136 of them children, the Pakistani city of Peshawar is still raw with grief and fear.

The capital city of the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (or the North-West Frontier Province as it used to be known) often finds itself in the front line of the 10-year-old Taliban insurgency and has witnessed appalling bloodshed.

But the Dec. 16 attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar surpassed even those standards of horror. It was the worst single terrorist attack in the history of a country that, according to the Global Terrorism Index, is the world’s most affected by terrorism after Iraq and Afghanistan.

Authorities have beefed-up security in the face of the school carnage, and in response to threats of similar attacks from the Taliban. Checkpoints have been stepped up on roads into the city. Surprise swoops netted 1,200 suspected militants (though many were found innocent and subsequently freed) and more personnel have been assigned to guard the airport. Police have also created a One-Clink SOS app that lets a user alert the nearest 10 police stations in the event of a terrorist attack by touching a smartphone screen. But nobody feels reassured.

Peshawar mother Zubida Saleem said she would rather her children were illiterate than killed in their classroom. She has also changed their school.

“After hearing the rumors that terrorists were threatening all private schools, I stopped sending my children to a private school,” she said. “I am not at all satisfied with what the security forces do these days to eliminate terrorism from Pakistan.”

Saman, a Year 9 student at a private school in Peshawar, said that she is terrified by the thought of going to school. “It’s as if what happened on Dec. 16 happened at my school,” she tells TIME. “It could be my own friends and teachers being killed.”

Fear is also palpable at tertiary institutions. Professor Nasreen Ghufran, chair of the International Relations (IR) department at the University of Peshawar, tells TIME of the “mental stress, depression, anxiety and panic” that have set in, and of lax security.

“The security guards will do a body search of ordinary people but not of officials, which is an open violation of security rules,” she says. “My students are asking me if we can manage the security of our department by ourselves since the government has failed to give us security.”

For many, the only hope of living a life without fear lies in leaving the country. Nawaz Khan’s two sons were in the school attack. The younger son was killed, the elder was seriously wounded.

“My injured son is hospitalized and according to doctors his healing will take almost six months. He won’t be able to take his Year 9 exams. I am so stressed and worried,” he said, explaining that his family was not safe in Pakistan and that he wanted to emigrate. He appealed to the international community to provide asylum to his family.

Award-winning Rahimullah Yusufzai, who was born in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and considered an authority on its affairs, says more school attacks can be expected because educational institutions are far more vulnerable than police or military targets.

He added that “Though the armed forces have cleared various areas of North Waziristan Agency of militants, the Taliban’s top leadership is still secure and able to plan such terror attacks. The military has not conducted ground assaults in the Datta Khel and Shawal areas of the agency, where militants exercise their power freely.”

Yusufzai says that while in past some people were in favor of peace talks with Taliban, the school massacre has changed everything.

“The situation in the city is alarming and parents fear for their children,” he says. “The militants’ attack on the school shows that in the future the Taliban may attack other educational institutions, or markets, bus stands and public places because these are easy targets for them.”

TIME China

Shanghai Seeks Answers After the New Year’s Eve Disaster

New Year's Eve Stampede Kills At Least 35, Injures Many More In Shanghai
Kevin Frayer—Getty Images Mourners light candles in the shape of a heart at a makeshift memorial at the site of a stampede on January 1, 2015 on the Bund in Shanghai, China. More than 35 people died and dozens were injured during a stampede at a New Years eve celebration late December 31, 2014.

Witnesses and families say the tragedy was preventable

The New Year’s Eve stampede in Shanghai that killed 36 people and wounded 47 others has prompted urgent questions about crowd control in China, now that the world’s most populous nation enters a winter holiday season characterized by massive gatherings of people and public transportation pushed to the limit.

President Xi Jinping on Thursday called for an investigation into what went wrong on Wednesday night, when dozens of people were trampled during sudden pandemonium at the Bund, a historic riverfront and major tourist draw in China’s largest city, state news agency Xinhua reports.

The president added that lessons must be drawn from the disaster in preparation for the Lunar New Year festivities, China’s major holiday period, which begin with the Spring Festival, falling this year on Feb. 19, and conclude with the Lantern Festival on Mar. 5.

The Solar New Year, on Jan. 1, is not traditionally a major holiday in China, though, much like Christmas and Halloween, it has increasingly made its presence known in the more cosmopolitan Chinese cities. But it observance is dwarfed by celebrations for the Lunar New Year, when lantern shows and parades are staged on a scale befitting a population of 1.35 billion.

Cai Lixin, deputy director of the Huangpu Public Security Bureau Command Center, told reporters Thursday that the Shanghai stampede was sparked by congestion on steps in Chen Yi Square, as revelers going up competed for space with those coming down. Police have ruled out an earlier theory that fake $100 notes, tossed by partygoers out a third story window, might have set off the chaos, concluding “this incident happened after the stampede,” Reuters reports.

A video posted on Youku.com shows police and revelers shouting for a huge crowd to stop trying to move forward and to turn around. Other footage in the video shows the mass of people screaming and pushing as others fall to the ground. Most of the dead were young students and women, state television CCTV reported.

Yet the details of the tragedy, and the question of whether police could have done more to control the crowd, remain unclear. Crowds at any major event have swelled in recent years, with the country’s growing wealth giving more people more money to party with, and the police are continuously dogged by allegations that they are ill-prepared to manage huge public gatherings in the nation’s densely populate cities. Reuters reports that foreign media were barred from attending a police press conference on the disaster, illustrating the sensitivity of the matter.

This year, the main event at the Bund, an annual laser light show, was canceled, reportedly due to concerns about crowd control, after the event attracted some 300,000 revelers last year. Yet people turned up regardless, to look across the Huangpu River and see one year change to the next in the colorful glow of this fast-changing city’s financial district, its mesmerizing skyline a harbinger for the nation’s future.

The Shanghai Daily quotes Cai as saying police began adding personnel at 7 p.m., when crowds seemed to unexpectedly exceed last year’s already dangerous numbers. But it was too late. Xinhua News reports that “the police expressed regret over their failure to effectively intervene when the tourist flow ‘increased irregularly’ at 11:30 p.m” (according to a New York Times translation).

Witnesses to the disaster and families of the victims told local media that police presence at the Bund was low on Wednesday night and accused police of not preparing for or properly managing the crowds. “The tragedy could have been avoided if enough police officers had been dispatched to maintain order,” one witness, Ma Xiaobang, told the South China Morning Post. China’s National Tourism Administration also criticized authorities and called for adequate crowd control measures to be implemented at major tourism hotspots.

In 2004, 37 people died in a stampede in a suburban Beijing park on the final night of Lunar New Year celebrations. Media criticized police at the time for not controlling the amount of people allowed onto a bridge, where one person tripped and set off a chain reaction of falls and panic.

Read next: Families Clamor for Answers After 36 Die in Shanghai Stampede

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