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Search For Missing Submersible Passes 96-hour Mark For Oxygen Supply



Missing submersible

Rescue efforts to find a submarine that was taking five passengers to the underwater Titanic wreckage site continued even as the 96-hour mark of oxygen supply inside the vessel ended. Rescuers have rushed more ships and vessels to the site of the disappearance, hoping underwater sounds they detected for a second straight day might help narrow their search. Lending to the efforts, France deployed a deep-sea robot while Britain embedded a submariner to find the missing vessel.

Deep sea explorer Dr David Gallo, speaking to a British news channel today morning, said that repetitive underwater noises were heard by three different aircraft with sensors for two-plus days. However, a US Coast Guard official said that while the sounds that have been detected offered a chance to narrow the search, their exact location and source haven’t yet been determined. Though the US Coast Guard said that authorities are still holding out hope of saving those onboard, estimates point to the oxygen in Titan running out as early as Thursday morning local time.

Lost aboard the vessel is pilot Stockton Rush, the CEO of the company leading the expedition, and his passengers are a British adventurer Hamish Harding, Pakistani father-son-duo Shahzada and Suleman Dawood, and a Titanic expert Paul-Henry Nargeolet. Newly uncovered allegations also suggest there had been significant warnings made about the vessel’s safety prior to its disappearance.

The Titan submersible went underwater at a time Newfoundland was witnessing its worst winter in 40 years, according to a Facebook post by British billionaire Hamish Harding ahead of the expedition.

“Due to the worst winter in Newfoundland in 40 years, this mission is likely to be the first and only manned mission to the Titanic in 2023. A weather window has just opened up and we are going to attempt a dive tomorrow. More expedition updates to follow IF the weather holds!” Harding wrote on Saturday.

If the Titan submersible is found, bigger challenges lie ahead, including retrieving its passengers and bringing the vessel to the surface.

Experts say that rescuing people through an underwater sub-to-sub operation is virutally impossible. Further, while robots deployed at the ocean floor can locate the sub, they cannot lift it to the surface. The robots can attach the sub to other vessels and ships that are powerful enough to lift it to the surface.

The Titan, the vessel that went missing in the area of the Titanic wreck in the North Atlantic on Monday (June 19), is classified as a submersible, not a submarine, because it does not function as an autonomous craft, instead relying on a support platform to deploy and return.

US Coast Guard’s Rear Admiral John Mauger told NBC’s Today show, “We continue to find in particularly complex cases that people’s will to live really needs to be accounted for as well. And so we’re continuing to search and proceed with rescue efforts.”

A NBC report quoted coast guard officials to add that new, high-tech vessels and medical personnel are moving to the search site.

The expedition costs $250,000 per person, which includes one submersible dive, private accommodations, training and expedition gear.

What is OceanGate, the company behind the missing submersible on a Titanic expedition? OceanGate Inc is a US-based company founded in 2009. Its website describes itself as “an ocean exploration venture focused on providing crewed submersible services to enable researchers and explorers to access the oceans’ vast resources”, adding that it plans to evolve methods to lower the costs of such explorations.

. The Indian Express

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French Schools Send Home Schoolgirls For Wearing Muslim Dress Abayas



French President Emmanuel Macron

French schools sent dozens of girls home for refusing to remove their abayas – an over-garment from the shoulders to the feet worn by Muslim women – on the first day of the school year, a government minister said on Tuesday.

Defying a ban on the Muslim dress, nearly 300 girls showed up on Monday morning wearing an abaya, education secretary Gabriel Attal told the BFM broadcaster.

The Daily Mail quoted Attal as saying that most agreed to change out of the dress, but 67 refused and were sent home.

The government announced last month it was banning the abaya in schools, saying it broke the rules on secularism in education that have already seen Muslim headscarves banned on the grounds they constitute a display of religious affiliation.

The move gladdened the political Right but the hard-Left argued it represented an affront to civil liberties.

French schools sent dozens of girls home for refusing to remove their abayas – an over-garment from the shoulders to the feet worn by Muslim women – on the first day of the school year, a government minister said on Tuesday.

Announcing the ban last month, Attal said at the time: ‘When you walk into a classroom, you shouldn’t be able to identify the pupils’ religion just by looking at them. I have decided that the abaya can no longer be worn in schools.’

Attal said the girls refused entry were given a letter addressed to their families saying that ‘secularism is not a constraint, it is a liberty’.

If they showed up at school again wearing the dress there would be a ‘new dialogue’, the minister said.

On Monday evening, president Emmanuel Macron defended the controversial measure, saying there was a ‘minority’ in France who ‘hijack a religion and challenge the republic and secularism’, leading to the ‘worst consequences’ such as the murder three years ago of teacher Samuel Paty for showing Mohammed caricatures during a civics education class.

‘We cannot act as if the terrorist attack, the murder of Samuel Paty, had not happened,’ he said in an interview with Youtube channel HugoDecrypte.

An association representing Muslims has filed a motion with the State Council, France’s highest court for complaints against state authorities, for an injunction against the ban on the abaya and the qamis, its equivalent dress for men.

The Action for the Rights of Muslims (ADM) motion is to be examined later on Tuesday.

Abdallah Zekri, vice-president of the French Council for Muslim Worship, said last month the abaya ‘has never been a religious symbol’ and should not be banned.

He said the ban was yet another example of politicians using dress favoured by women and girls to attack some five million Muslims living in France.

‘I think the minister could have asked the opinion of religious leaders,’ said Zerkri.

‘For me, the abaya is not a religious dress, it is a form of fashion.

‘If you go to some stores, you find abayas. It’s a long and loose dress at the same time. It has nothing to do with religion.’

A law introduced in March 2004 banned ‘the wearing of signs or outfits by which students ostensibly show a religious affiliation’ in schools.

This includes large Christian crosses, Jewish kippas and Islamic headscarves.

Unlike headscarves, abayas occupied a grey area and had faced no outright ban until now.

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Gabon’s BREAKING:Military Leader Sworn In As President



Gen. Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema

Gabon ‘s new military leader was sworn in as the head of state Monday less than a week after ousting the president whose family had ruled the Central African nation for more than five decades.

Gen. Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema, took the oath in the presidential palace in front of a packed, boisterous room of government officials, military and local leaders in Gabon’s capital, Libreville. Oligui is a cousin of the ousted President Ali Bongo Ondimba, served as a bodyguard to his late father and is head of the republican guard, an elite military unit.

Speaking to applause and standing ovations Monday, Oligui said the military had seized power without bloodshed and promised to return power to the people by organizing free, transparent and credible elections.

“With the new government, made up of experienced people, we’re going to give everyone a chance to hope,” he said.


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BREAKING: Gabonese Military Officers Sack President



President Ali Bongo

Senior Gabonese military officers appeared on national television to announce they have taken power.

The group of 12 officers made the announcement shortly after Gabon’s election body reported early on Wednesday morning that President Ali Bongo had won a third term in office.

After observing “irresponsible, unpredictable governance resulting in a continuing deterioration in social cohesion that risks leading the country into chaos… we have decided to defend peace by putting an end to the current regime”, one of the soldiers said, speaking on the Gabon 24 TV channel.

There was no immediate comment from the Gabon government, the Reuters news agency reported.

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