Solar plane takes off for its first transcontinental flight

By Fabrice Coffrini / AFP
AP reports — An experimental solar-powered airplane took off from Switzerland on its first transcontinental flight Thursday, aiming to reach North Africa next week.
Pilot Andre Borschberg planned to take the jumbo jet-size Solar Impulse plane on its first leg to Madrid, Spain, by Friday. His colleague Bertrand Piccard will take the helm of the aircraft for the second stretch of its 1,554-mile journey to the Moroccan capital Rabat.
Fog on the runaway at its home base in Payerne, Switzerland, delayed the take off by two hours, demonstrating how susceptible the prototype single-seater aircraft is to adverse weather.
“We can’t fly into clouds because it was not designed for that,” Borschberg said as he piloted the lumbering plane with its 207-foot wingspan toward the eastern French city of Lyon at a cruising speed of just 43.5 miles an hour.
Before landing in Madrid in the early hours of Friday, Borschberg will face other challenges, including having to overfly the Pyrenees mountains that separate France and Spain.
Just in case things go disastrously wrong, Borschberg has a parachute inside his tiny cabin that he hopes never to use. “When you take an umbrella it never rains,” he joked in a satellite call with The Associated Press.

An experimental solar-powered airplane took off from Switzerland on its first transcontinental flight Thursday, aiming to reach North Africa next week.

Pilot Andre Borschberg planned to take the jumbo jet-size Solar Impulse plane on its first leg to Madrid, Spain, by Friday. His colleague Bertrand Piccard will take the helm of the aircraft for the second stretch of its 2,500-kilometer (1,554-mile) journey to the Moroccan capital Rabat.
Fog on the runaway at its home base in Payerne, Switzerland, delayed the take off by two hours, demonstrating how susceptible the prototype single-seater aircraft is to adverse weather.
“We can’t fly into clouds because it was not designed for that,” Borschberg said as he piloted the lumbering plane with its 63-meter (207-foot) wingspan toward the eastern French city of Lyon at a cruising speed of just 70 kilometers an hour (43.5 mph).
Before landing in Madrid in the early hours of Friday, Borschberg will face other challenges, including having to overfly the Pyrenees mountains that separate France and Spain.
Just in case things go disastrously wrong, Borschberg has a parachute inside his tiny cabin that he hopes never to use. “When you take an umbrella it never rains,” he joked in a satellite call with The Associated Press.
Piccard — the son of undersea explorer Jacques Piccard and grandson of balloonist Auguste Piccard — will have to cross the windy Straits of Gibraltar from Europe to Africa.
The team has been invited to Morocco by the country’s King Mohammed VI to showcase the cutting edge of solar technology.
Morocco is about to start construction on a massive solar energy plant at Ouarzazate. The plant will form part of a country-wide solar energy grid with a capacity of 2000 megawatts by 2020.
The mission is described as the final dress rehearsal for a round-the-world flight with a new and improved aircraft in 2014. That trip will include stops in the United States, said Borschberg.
In 2010, the Swiss flew non-stop for 26-hour to demonstrate that the 12,000 solar cells attached to the aircraft can soak up enough sunlight to keep the plane airborne through the night. A year later, he took Solar Impulse on its first international flight to Belgium and France.
The project began in 2003 and is estimated to cost about $100 million over 10 years.

Using mind control to kill

“More than 10 years back, I have encountered a similar situation, where the voices in my head ask me to kill LKY, if I really did, I will never leave the mental hospital ever again, instead I have developed my own counter to everything, so it does not affect me ever again, someone better investigate this, someone is using technology to kill. – Contributed by Oogle.”

The murder of Tim McLean (October 3, 1985[1] – July 30, 2008) occurred on the evening of July 30, 2008. McLean, a 22-year-old Canadian man, was stabbed, beheaded and cannibalized while riding a Greyhound Canada bus about 30 km west of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba traveling the Trans Canada Highway. On March 5, 2009, McLean’s killer, 40-year-old Vince Weiguang Li (simplified Chinese: 李伟光; traditional Chinese: 李偉光; pinyin: Lǐ Wěiguāng) (born April 30, 1968), was found to be not criminally responsible for the murder and was remanded to a high-security mental health facility where he remains to this day.[2]

The incident took place near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, during a trip from Edmonton to McLean’s hometown of Winnipeg.[3]
At 12:01 a.m. on July 30, 2008, Tim McLean, a carnival worker, was returning home to Manitoba after working at a fair in Alberta.[4] He departed Edmonton on board Greyhound bus 1170 to Winnipeg, via the Yellowhead Highway through Saskatchewan. He sat at the rear, one row ahead of the toilet. At 6:55 p.m., the bus departed from a stop in Erickson, Manitoba with a new passenger, Vince Weiguang Li.[5][6] Li, described as a tall man in his 40s, with a shaved head and sunglasses, originally sat near the front of the bus, but moved to sit next to McLean following a scheduled rest stop. McLean “barely acknowledged” Li, then fell asleep against the window pane, headphones covering his ears.[7]
According to witnesses, McLean was sleeping with his headphones on when the man sitting next to him suddenly produced a large knife and began stabbing McLean in the neck and chest. The attacker then decapitated McLean and displayed his severed head to other passengers outside who had fled the bus in horror. The driver and two other men attempted to rescue McLean but were chased away by Li, who slashed wildly at them from behind the locked bus doors. Li then went back to the body and began severing other body parts and consuming some of McLean’s flesh.
At 8:30 p.m., the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Portage la Prairie received a report of a stabbing on a Greyhound bus west of the city. They arrived to find the suspect still on board the bus, being prevented from escaping by another passenger, the bus driver, and a truck driver who had provided a crowbar and a hammer as weapons. The other passengers were huddled at the roadside, some of them crying and vomiting. As the suspect had earlier attempted to escape by driving the bus away, the driver had engaged the emergency immobilizer system, rendering the vehicle inoperable. Witnesses had observed the suspect stabbing and cutting McLean’s body, and carrying McLean’s severed head.[7]
By 9:00 p.m., police were in a standoff with the suspect and had summoned special negotiators and a heavily-armed tactical unit. The suspect alternately paced the length of the bus and cut and defiled the corpse. Police officers then observed Li eating parts of the body.[5] Meanwhile, the stranded passengers were transported from the scene to be interviewed at the Brandon RCMP detachment.[7] RCMP officers reportedly heard Li say, “I have to stay on the bus forever.”[5]
On July 31, 2008, at 1:30 a.m., the suspect attempted to escape from the bus by breaking through a window. The RCMP arrested Li soon afterward.[6][8] He was shot with a Taser twice, handcuffed and placed in the back of a police cruiser. Parts of the victim’s body, placed in plastic bags, were retrieved from the bus, while his ear, nose and tongue were found in Li’s pockets. The victim’s eyes and a part of his heart were never recovered and are presumed to have been eaten by Li.[9]
At 10:00 a.m., Greyhound representatives took the other passengers to a local store to replace their clothes, which remained on the bus. They arrived in Winnipeg at 3:30 p.m. that day, to be reunited with family members and friends.[7]

To issue Eurobonds, you need to address all these issues


BRUSSELS | Wed May 23, 2012 8:49pm EDT

(Reuters) – European Union leaders discussed broad measures to stem the fallout from a winding up or restructuring of bad banks on Wednesday, EU officials said, with the European Central Bank pressing for the bloc to stand behind its struggling lenders.
At the heart of the discussion are proposals from the European Commission for a legal framework to wind up or reorganize insolvent banks so as to avoid a repeat of the multi-trillion-euro taxpayer bailouts during the financial crisis.
The issue of bank resolution has risen to the top of the agenda as concerns grow about the impact if Greece were to leave the currency zone, and as problems deepen in Spain’s large banking sector, which is laden with bad property debts.
Officials said among the issues EU leaders were discussing was whether it might be necessary to establish a taskforce to look in more detail about bank resolution issues, and to examine related steps such as what legislation and fiscal steps would be necessary to lay the ground for euro zone bonds.
“There’s some discussion about how to use the mandate given to EU leaders back in December,” said one EU source, saying the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy or European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso could be given responsibility for setting up the taskforce.
The source added, however, that any move would depend on EU leaders agreeing and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s approval was far from guaranteed.
The basis of the leaders’ talks are detiled proposals the European Commission is scheduled to present in early June on how to take control of failing banks, merge bad ones with sound ones and impose losses on bank bondholders.
The European Central Bank wants the proposals to include a pan-euro-zone resolution fund for larger, systemically important banks, a message its President Mario Draghi intended to deliver to leaders on Wednesday, a central bank source said.
“There are a series of issues covering bank resolution, a debt agency for euro bonds and the financial sector in general that leaders are working on,” said the first source when asked about how wide-ranging the talks were.
“When it comes to the banking sector, the debate really focuses on whether they want to broaden the ideas out or keep them narrowly focused.”
Aside from bank resolution, there are calls from some EU countries to make it possible for the euro zone’s bailout funds to directly recapitalize banks, rather than having to lend to the sovereign which then on-lends to the banking sector.
Germany is opposed to direct recapitalization, but one official said there was some backing for the idea.
“There is more momentum behind these kinds of issues such as using the European Stability Mechanism to directly recapitalize banks and the idea of federalizing Europe’s response to the banking crisis,” the official said.
The proposal for a central euro-zone fund to neutralize any knock-on effects from the closure or overhaul of a struggling bank is one of the most contested issues in the debate about winding up lenders.
Earlier this week, ECB policy maker Joerg Amussen referred to the need for the creation of further funds beyond the ESM, a reference one official said referred to the requirement for new facilities to finance and recapitalize banks directly.
“We should have tools to prevent banks runs and to force (bank) restructuring,” said a third EU official. “For bank crisis management, it would make sense. But it is more of a political question.”
Although some believe that a central resolution fund could play a role in making the banking sector “shock-proof”, in the words of the official, Germany still has reservations about supporting flagging banks in countries such as Spain.
“It means metallization of risks and that is a problem for several countries,” said the official.
Any such fund would also require giving further powers of enforcement to European authorities such as EU regulator, the European Banking Authority, or the European Central Bank.
“If you create bank resolution funds without European level powers to impose structural changes, then you use funds but you don’t have a central to force the banking sector to reorganize.”
(Reporting By Luke Baker and John O’Donnell)