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VIDEO: Germanwings Co-pilot was “100% fit to fly” says Lufthansa CEO


The CEO of Lufthansa, Carsten Spohr, called the Germanwings co-pilot who deliberately crashed the plane “100% fit to fly” in a press conference today.

Spohr expressed disbelief at the act committed by co-pilot Andreas Lubitz. Emerging details from the plane’s black box recorder revealed Lubitz deliberately put the plane into a steep descent, refused to open the locked cockpit door to allow the pilot reentry, and was breathing normally until the final moment of impact.

According to Lufthansa, Lubitz, 28, was cleared to fly, and there were no known reasons to consider him unfit.

Lubitz received his pilots training at the Lufthansa Flight Training School in Bremen. After that, he immediately joined Germanwings in September 2013.

Lubitz was included in a “prestigious” aviation database at the time of his graduation for “meeting or exceeding high educational, licensing and medical standards.”

He only had 630 hours of total flight experience.

Lubitz, a German citizen, was living in Montabaur, Germany with his parents. He is also said to have lodgings in Dusseldorf.

Authorities do not know of any connection between Lubitz and terrorist groups. The crash is currently being treated as a suicide and mass murder.

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Who Was Andreas Lubitz? What We Know So Far


Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr has said Lubitz was “100% fit to fly” (see video below), a statement that may not sit well with grieving families. As police search the home of Germanwings Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who purposefully crashed the plane and took the lives of everyone on board, the world waits for answers. Who was Lubitz, and why did he commit this unthinkable act?

Lubitz was a 28-year-old German citizen. He lived with his parents in Montabaur, Germany, which lies between Frankfurt and Bonn. Presently, police are stationed outside the house amid heightened press coverage. Lubitz is also reported to have a residence in Dusseldorf, where he was based out of for his job with Germanwings. Lubitz joined Germanwings immediately after completing his training  in September of 2013. He trained at the Lufthansa Flight Training School in Bremen. He was included in an elite aviation database at the time of his training graduation for “meeting or exceeding high educational, licensing and medical standards.”

In his short career, he had only accumulated 630 hours of flying time. (The pilot of the flight had over 6,000 hours and 10 years of experience.)

Lubitz is not known to authorities as a terrorist, nor is there any evidence of terrorism.

He had apparently visited the U.S., as the first photograph obtained of Lubitz shows him in San Francisco in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.

On the black box recorder, Lubitz can be heard to be breathing normally all the way up to the moment the plane crashed into the mountains. He never replied to the pilot who was yelling and beating on the cockpit door, nor did he respond to air traffic controllers.

Lubitz never spoke a single word as he took the plane down, killing himself and all 149 others on board.  

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Live Coverage and Latest Videos: Crash Being Called Suicide and Mass Murder


The Germanwings Airbus Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz intentionally crashed the plane with 150 on board, French Prosecutor Brice Robin announced early today. During his live press conference, the Prosecutor said the Co-pilot appeared to want to “destroy” the plane. 

UPDATE, 1:35 p.m. EST: French authorities are treating the crash as a suicide and mass murder, Euronews is reporting. Police are searching the home of Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz.

Earlier today, the Prosecutor revealed the findings from the examination of the black box recorder. The investigation has revealed chilling details from the short time the doomed Germanwings plane was in the air.

Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, 28, was apparently left alone in the cockpit after the pilot asked him to take the controls once the plane reached its 38,000 feet cruising altitude. The pilot left the cockpit, leaving the co-pilot alone at the controls.

The Co-pilot then deliberately set the plane’s controls to make a descent. The Co-pilot “voluntarily” refused to open the door to the pilot. In the final moments the pilot can be heard frantically pounding on the cockpit door, and passengers can be heard screaming.

The Co-pilot was completely silent during the plane’s descent. He was conscious until the moment of impact.

The Prosecutor has not ruled out suicide. French authorities have said there is no evidence to indicate terrorism played a role.

Investigators are continuing to look for the flight data recorder.

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YouTube Live to reinvent itself as online gaming hub, hopefully be less lame


Esports

Esports, like this ‘League of Legends’ Championship competition, now draws millions of fans. YouTube Live hopes to capture some of the action by relaunching as a live online gaming hub.

YouTube Live is reportedly in line for a major makeover. The live streaming section of YouTube will soon relaunch with a focus on live gaming and esports.

YouTube Live started out with a bang and lots of big promises of exciting live streaming content to come. That never panned out, however. Currently, the majority of the live streams on the site are obscure foreign language broadcasts, random Google Hangouts (many of which are just plain weird), and a few fringe sports events.

Instead of trying to revamp its live streaming news, entertainment, educational and other content, YouTube Live will move toward what it hopes is a more profitable sector — live online gaming. That will include casual gaming, and major video game competitions, or esports.

The revamp comes after Google made a strong push to acquire Twitch—but lost out to Amazon, which bought the company for $1 billion. Twitch lets viewers watch live streams of other users playing video games. With around 55 million users, it is by far the dominant player in the esports segment.

If anyone has the resources to give Twitch some competition, though, surely it’s Google. Google is reportedly taking the new venture very seriously, and investing some serious cash. According to The Daily Dot, Google has already hired 50 engineers with expertise in live streaming.

Google certainly has its sights set on broadcasting the biggest events in esports, like the League of Legends Championship which draws tens of millions of fans from around the world.

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LIVE VIDEO COVERAGE: Airbus Crash Black Box Found, Families Gather at Airport


A Germanwings passenger Airbus has crashed in the French Alps. The plane had 150 on board, but there are no survivors. 

UPDATE, 1:15 EST: One of the plane’s black box recorders has been located by searchers. It will be examined immediately. Meanwhile, tearful friends and family members of the passengers on board have gathered at the Barcelona airport from where the plane departed.

Live breaking coverage of the Airbus crash investigation and search mission:

UPDATE, 12:05 EST: The Germanwings CEO has announced the Airbus passenger list included two infants. Watch the press conference in the ‘Today’s Top News’ player below.

The Airbus A320 plane was traveling from Barcelona, Spain to Dusseldorf, Germany.

The plane left Barcelona at 10:01 a.m. local time (5:01 a.m. ET) and a distress call was issued by a controller only 44 minutes later, French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told CNN affiliate BFMTV.

The plane went down in the foothills of the Alps in southeastern France at approximately 10:30 a.m. The crash site is near the Digne-les-Bains in the Alpes de Haute Provence region.

The terrain in the area is mountainous and will make rescue and recovery efforts a challenge. The area is sparsely populated and currently covered in snowfall.

French President Francois Hollande addressed the media, saying no survivors were likely.

“The conditions of the accident are not yet clear but lead us to believe there will be no survivors,” Hollande said.

Germanwings, owned by the Lufthansa Group, is a budget airline. Lufthansa said on Twitter, “We do not yet know what has happened to flight 4U 9525. My deepest sympathy goes to the families and friends of our passengers and crew 1/2.”

Investigations into the cause of the crash will look at a number of different factors. First will be how quickly the plane lost altitude. An online flight tracker recording the plane altitude shows the Airbus dropped 14,000 feet in only six minutes.

Investigators will try to resolve whether the plane stalled, or if the pilot was attempting an emergency landing.

 

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VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: NCAA March Madness Round of 32


The men’s NCAA basketball tournament maintained its intensity over the weekend as play in the Round of 32 whittled the field down to the Sweet Sixteen.

Even fans broken up over busted brackets couldn’t help but appreciate the exciting play, incredible upsets, and fierce competitiveness as this year’s March Madness trend of favoring the underdog held in the Round of 32.

In the East region, 1-seed Villanova was upset by 8-seed NC State, busting numerous brackets in the process, and 7-seed Michigan State took out 2-seed UVA. In the Midwest, with 2-seed Kansas knocked out by 7-seed Wichita.

In the West and South regions, outcomes were a bit more mainstream though 5-seed Utah won by 11 points over 4-seed Georgetown in what was, in fact, a close game until the very end. Despite slightly fewer upsets, the South region still has an 11-seed, UCLA, in the Sweet Sixteen. Six-seed Xavier is the lowest ranking in the West.

The Sweet Sixteen round will kick off this Thursday, March 26, with four matchups. 1-seed Kentucky will meet 5-seed West Virginia, and 3-seed Notre Dame plays 7-seed Wichita in the Midwest. In the West, 1-seed Wisconsin takes on 4-seed UNC and 6-seed Xavier will try to keep up with 2-seed Arizona.

On Friday, March 27, 8-seed NC State will be tested by 4-seed Louisville, and 3-seed Oklahoma faces 7-seed Michigan State in the East. In the South, it’ll be 1-seed Duke against 5-seed Utah and 11-seed UCLA versus 2-seed Gonzaga.

Then it’s on to the Elite Eight.

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VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: NCAA Round of 64


The men’s college basketball tournament continued to dazzle in day 2, with more amazing plays, close games and gut-wrenching losses.

Action starts in the Round of 32 today. In the Midwest section, 1-seed Kentucky will take on 8-seed Cincinnati in their quest to continue an undefeated streak. Three-seed Notre Dame will also play 6-seed Butler.

In the East, 1-seed Villanova will face off against 8-seed NC State in their fight to reach the Final Four.

In the South, 11-seed UCLA will go up against 14-seed UAB. Both teams are coming off stunning upsets in the Round of 64, with UCLA knocking out 6-seed SMU and UAB eliminating 3-seed Iowa State. Both teams will come out ready to give it all they’ve got for a spot in the Sweet Sixteen. 5-seed Utah will also meet 4-seed Georgetown.

Three matchups will play out in the West today. That includes 14-seed Georgia State vying to stay in the tournament after their epic buzzer-beater win against 3-seed Baylor. Georgia plays 6-seed Xavier.

 

 

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VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: NCAA’s most exciting start ever


The men’s college basketball tournament kicked off with its first full day yesterday — a day that will go down in NCAA March Madness history as the most exciting Day 1 start so far.

The first day of play had everything a fan could hope for. Buzzer beaters, controversial calls, upsets all over the place, and even a coach getting a face full of floor in his excitement over his Georgia State team’s last-second win—scored by none other than his own son.

A record-setting five of yesterday’s games came down to a single point differential in the final score. Eleven games were decided by less than 10 points, tying the tournament record from 2010. Nine games were decided by five points or less, also a tie for the tournament high, posted ESPN via Twitter.

Day 2 of March Madness starts today at noon, with 2-seed Kansas taking on 15-seed New Mexico state. Will today be as exciting as yesterday? The country will certainly be tuning in to see.

In addition to setting tournament records, this year’s March Madness is expected to capture a record number of viewers — many of whom will be sneaking in game time while on the clock at work. In a recent poll, three out of ten people said they would be watching games during work hours. With so many nail-biter finishes, it will be hard to stay away from the action. Just don’t let the boss catch you.

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VIDEO: Tunisians rally against terror; US heightens security


The President of Tunisia has spoken out saying his country is “in a war with terror” in the aftermath of a brutal attack at the capital’s museum yesterday. Tunisians took to the streets by the thousands, chanting “Free Tunisia” in a united display against terrorism, while the US has heightened national security measures.

VIDEOS: Latest coverage of the Tunisia attack: 

The death toll has climbed to 23 killed and at least 50 injured after armed gunmen stormed the Bardo National Museum and began shooting. A hostage situation played out over the course of the day while the Tunisian Parliament building, located close to the museum in Tunis, was evacuated.

At least one of the gunmen was known to Tunisian intelligence ahead of the shooting. The foreign policy chief of the European Union, Frederica Mogherini, is holding “terrorist organizations” responsible for the attack, The Tunis Times is reporting.

“With the attack that has struck Tunis today, the terrorist organizations are once again targeting the countries and peoples of the Mediterranean region,” Mogherini said in a statement.

In the US, security measures have been heightened in the wake of the attack,

Tunisian authorities have made arrests, taking nine people believe to be connected to the attack into custody. The announcement of the arrests came after a speech by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi.

In that speech, Essebsi declared his country at war against terror and condemned the “savage minority groups” believed to be behind the attack.

Citizens of Tunisia took to the streets by the thousands, filling the downtown landmark Bourguiba Avenue in a nighttime rally. In a united display of defiance against terrorism, people chanted “Free Tunisia.”

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LIVE VIDEO: Ongoing hostage situation in Tunisia attack; 23 now confirmed dead


 

The death toll has risen now to 23 tourists killed in today’s attack at Tunisia’s Bardo National Museum, and a hostage situation continues to unfold.

Live coverage of the attack and hostage situation: 

Ongoing coverage from Tunis:

The museum, located in Tunisia’s capital, Tunis, was raided by two men in military clothing, said the spokesman for the Tunisian interior ministry, Ali Aroui. The men entered the museum and opened fire. Aroui called the gunmen Islamists.

Eight tourists have been reported dead in the attack. A hostage situation is currently underway at the museum, according to the Tunisian Interior Ministry.

The museum is located near the Tunisian Parliament building. Parlaiment was evacuated amid reports of shots being fired in the museum.

Early reports said there were three gunmen leading the attack, and that hostages were taken.

The Bardo National Museum is a national treasure. Dating back to the 1800s, the museum is housed in an elaborate palace and holds treasures of Tunisian art, jewels, and artifacts.