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US FAA launches high-priority probe of Boeing’s safety analyses in wake of crash: WSJ

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The U.S. aviation regulator has launched a high-priority probe of the safety analyses performed over the years by Boeing Co (BA.N), following the crash of a Lion Air jet in Indonesia last month, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it was reviewing details surrounding the safety data and conclusions the company previously provided to it as part of certifying 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 models, the WSJ reported.

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The FAA said in a statement late Tuesday that the Wall Street Journal story was incorrect to suggest the agency is conducting a safety probe on the Boeing Max.

The FAA is not conducting a probe separate from the ongoing Lion Air accident investigation that the agency, the National Transportation Safety Board and Indonesian officials are a part of, the FAA said.

“As we have previously said, we have issued an (airworthiness directive) and will continue to take appropriate action based on what we learn from the investigation. This has not changed,” the FAA said.

The FAA and Boeing continue to evaluate the need for software and/or other design changes to the aircraft including operating procedures and training as we learn more from the ongoing investigation, the regulator said.

Boeing did not respond to requests for comment outside regular business hours.

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A Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed on Oct. 29 minutes after taking off from Jakarta, killing all 189 people aboard.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru and David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Leslie Adler and Sunil Nair

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Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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‘Zero doubt we’re getting witnesses’: Trump’s legal team bracing for GOP defections

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If at least four Senate Republicans vote to subpoena additional witnesses and documents -- that could trigger a domino effect.

Sources close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will likely try to reach an agreement with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer if it appears likely that 51 senators will vote for new testimony, with demands for GOP witnesses, rather than going to a vote, reported Axios.

The most likely GOP defectors remain Sens. Susan Collins (ME), Mitt Romney (UT), Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Lamar Alexander (TN), but that could put new pressure vulnerable senators up for re-election such as Cory Gardner (CO), Thom Tills (NC), Martha McSally (AZ), Rob Portman (OH), Joni Ernst (IA) and Pat Toomey (PA).

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Fig leaf or first defense? Deploying flimsy masks against virus

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As fears of a deadly virus sweep the globe, panicked members of the public are depending on a flimsy first line of defence -- surgical masks that are coveted, but in short supply and of limited use.

While Asian commuters cover their noses and mouths with the blue-green paper-thin covers -- and social media buzzes with mask emojis, rumours of stockpiles and shortages -- the humble medical mask has become an essential weapon in the battle against an invisible enemy.

Cheap, mass-made and usually readily available at convenience stores, experts dispute the usefulness of masks as a tool to block transmission of the new SARS-like virus.

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Markets suffer more losses as China virus death toll risesd

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Asian markets tumbled again Tuesday, extending a global sell-off as the toll from a rapidly spreading Chinese virus spiked to more than 100 dead and thousands infected, with investors fretting over the impact on an already fragile world economy.

Traders have been running for the hills as the coronavirus is reported in more countries, with oil also tanking on expectations that demand in China, the world's top consumer of the commodity, will be hammered.

The outbreak comes during the Lunar New Year break when hundreds of millions of people criss-cross China and spend huge amounts of money.

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