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KUALA LUMPUR (ABC) - The head of the International Air Transport Association vowed today that no airplane will ever go missing again by making sure that in the future "planes can be tracked in real time."
Tony Tyler, director general of the airline trade association, spoke at an industry seminar at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in a meeting dominated by the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
“We cannot let another aircraft simply vanish,” Tyler told the association of airline executives.
But, the industry made similar calls following the crash into the Atlantic Ocean of Air France 447 in June 2009. The search for wreckage and the black boxes took two years and cost $135 million.
Even that was not the first accident in which the cockpit voice and flight data recorders were difficult to find. Over the past 30 years, there have been 26 accidents in which underwater searches were required lasting from three days to more than three months, according to the French accident investigation agency the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses. In 2010 the BEA asked the International Civil Aviation Organization to require streaming of flight data or installation of breakaway floating data recorders.
So far the only change has been to require a 90 day life for the battery on the black box pinger. The plane flying as MH370 had not yet had the longer life battery installed.
Possible fixes are complex as the industry tries to decide “what should be considered and what are the technologies that can be used,” Tyler said. ICAO and the satellite company Inmarsat, whose data helped direct the recovery effort to the South Indian Ocean, are two industry entities already discussing what technology could be used on airliners.
Pressed to explain what made this situation different from Air France, Tyler would only say that this time things would change. “We must assure this cannot happen again.”
The day was also marked by having the head of the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation expel the press from his speech, seven minutes into what seemed to be one of the first public detailed explanations into the last known minutes of Flight 370.
“The last data from the aircraft was at 1:07 in the morning,” Azharuddin Abdul Rahman started to say to a room filled with airline executives and about a dozen reporters.
Then he stopped abruptly and asked, “Is there any media here? Can I ask the media to stay out please?”
Expelling the reporters came as a surprise to the association. A spokesman for IATA said Azharuddin had been told the day before that reporters would be in attendance. There were cameras in the back of the room and a number of local journalists in addition to ABC News.
Afterwards, as he left the hotel, Azharuddin declined to answer questions or explain his behavior. Tyler said allowances had to be made for the Mayalsians who have been under tremendous pressure since the Boeing 777 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing went missing on March 8.
“Malaysia has had an extremely difficult time,” Tyler said reminding reporters that more than three weeks has passed and still no one knows what has happened to flight MH370. “I for one would not like to criticize them. If mistakes were made, they’ll learn from them.”

NEW YORK (AP) -- In every region of America, white and Asian children are far better positioned for success than black, Latino and American Indian children, according to a new report appealing for urgent action to bridge this racial gap.

Titled "Race for Results," the report is being released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which for decades has worked to improve child well-being in the United States.

The foundation also produces annual "Kids Count" reports, with reams of state-specific data, but these generally have not focused on race. The new report tackles the topic head-on, with charts and ratings that convey dramatic racial discrepancies.

At the core of the report is a newly devised index based on 12 indicators measuring a child's success from birth to adulthood. The indicators include reading and math proficiency, high school graduation data, teen birthrates, employment prospects, family income and education levels, and neighborhood poverty levels.

Using a single composite score with a scale of one to 1,000, Asian children have the highest index score at 776, followed by white children at 704.

"Scores for Latino (404), American-Indian (387) and African-American (345) children are distressingly lower, and this pattern holds true in nearly every state," said the report.

Patrick McCarthy, the Casey Foundation's president, said the findings are "a call to action that requires serious and sustained attention from the private, nonprofit, philanthropic and government sectors to create equitable opportunities for children of color."

The report was based on data from 2012, including census figures tallying the number of U.S. children under 18 at 39 million whites, 17.6 million Latinos, 10.2 million blacks, 3.4 million of Asian descent, and 640,000 American Indians, as well as about 2.8 million children of two or more races. Under census definitions, Latinos can be of various racial groups.

The report described the challenges facing African-American children as "a national crisis."

For black children, the states with the lowest scores were in the South and upper Midwest - with Wisconsin at the bottom, followed closely by Mississippi and Michigan. The highest scores were in states with relatively small black populations - Hawaii, New Hampshire, Utah and Alaska.

Outcomes varied for different subgroups of Asian and Latino children. For example, in terms of family income levels, children of Southeast Asian descent - Burmese, Hmong, Laotian, Cambodian and Vietnamese - faced greater hurdles than children whose families came from India, Japan, the Philippines and China.

Among Latinos, children of Mexican and Central American descent faced the biggest barriers to success; those of Cuban and South American descent fared better in the index.

The state with the highest score for Latino children was Alaska, at 573. The lowest was Alabama, at 331.

Only 25 states provided enough data to compile scores for American Indian children. Their scores were highest in Texas (631), Alabama (568), Florida (554) and Kansas (553), and lowest in the upper Midwest, the Southwest and the Mountain States. The score for Indian children in South Dakota - 185 - was the lowest of any group in any state on the index.

Some of South Dakota's Indian reservations are among the poorest nationwide, which contributes to high levels of domestic violence, alcoholism and drug abuse, fetal-alcohol syndrome, teen pregnancy and low graduation rates.

The report found sharp differences in Indian children's outcomes based on tribal affiliation. For example, Apache children were far more likely than Choctaw children to live in economically struggling families.

Among its recommendations, the report urged concerted efforts to collect and analyze race-specific data on child well-being that could be used to develop programs capable of bridging the racial gap. It said special emphasis should be placed on expanding job opportunities as children in the disadvantaged groups enter adulthood.

"Regardless of our own racial background or socio-economic position, we are inextricably interconnected as a society," the report concluded. "We must view all children in America as our own - and as key contributors to our nation's future."


Annie E. Casey Foundation: HTTP://WWW.AECF.ORG/


Follow David Crary on Twitter at HTTP://TWITTER.COM/CRARYAP



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