Trump: ‘I was right’ Moore could not win Alabama race

Republican Albama US Senate candidate Roy Moore. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Updated 13 December 2017
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Trump: ‘I was right’ Moore could not win Alabama race

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump sought Wednesday to distance himself from an embarrassing defeat in Alabama, saying he had been right all along that Republican senate candidate Roy Moore could not win.
The former judge faced damaging accusations he had preyed on teenage girls as a younger man, but Trump endorsed him anyway in the final stretch of the campaign for a vacant US Senate seat.
Moore, now 70, lost the election Tuesday to Democratic candidate Doug Jones, a stunning upset in a deeply conservative southern state that has not elected a Democrat to the US Senate in a quarter century.
The defeat was a blow to Trump as well as to Moore — but in an early morning tweet Wednesday, the president recalled that he had originally endorsed Moore’s rival in the Republican primary, Luther Strange.
“The reason I endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily) is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election. I was right!
“Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!“
In an earlier tweet late Tuesday, Trump congratulated Jones on “a hard fought victory.”
“The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win,” he said.
Moore has yet to concede the loss, however, calling for a recount.
With 100 percent of Alabama precincts reporting, Jones won 49.9 percent of the vote compared to Moore’s 48.4 percent, a margin of nearly 21,000 votes out of 1.3 million cast, according to results posted by US media.


Lion Air crash victims’ families to rally as hunt for wreckage steps up

Updated 7 min 31 sec ago
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Lion Air crash victims’ families to rally as hunt for wreckage steps up

  • Lion Air is paying for a specialized ship to help lift the main wreckage of flight JT 610 and give investigators a better chance of finding the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) in a search that has lacked sophisticated equipment for the last month
  • The enhanced search will cost $2.8 million for the first 10 days

JAKARTA: Families of some of the 189 people killed in a Lion Air plane crash plan a protest rally in Indonesia on Thursday, while stalled efforts to bring the main wreckage to the surface and find the second black box are set to resume next week.
The Boeing Co. 737 MAX jet crashed into the Java Sea on Oct. 29 shortly after take-off from Jakarta, but the families expressed concern that the remains of 64 passengers have yet to be identified, with just 30 percent of the plane’s body found.
“The relatives hope that all members of our families who died in the accident can be found and their bodies buried in a proper way,” a group that says it represents about 50 families said in a statement.
“We hope the search for the victims will use vessels with sophisticated technology,” it added, ahead of the rally planned for outside the presidential palace in Jakarta.
Lion Air is paying for a specialized ship to help lift the main wreckage of flight JT 610 and give investigators a better chance of finding the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) in a search that has lacked sophisticated equipment for the last month, Reuters reported.
Indonesia’s national transport panel said the vessel was due to arrive on Monday.
The enhanced search will cost $2.8 million for the first 10 days, a source close to the airline said on Thursday, on condition of anonymity, adding that Lion Air is paying because the government does not have the budget.
A spokesman for Lion Air was unable to respond immediately to a request for comment.
“Funds for the CVR search will be borne by Lion Air which has signed a contract for a ship from a Singaporean company,” a finance ministry spokesman told Reuters.
Lion Air’s decision to foot the bill is a rare test of global norms regarding search independence, as such costs are typically paid by governments.
In this case, investigators said they had faced bureaucratic wrangling and funding problems before Lion Air stepped in.
Safety experts say it is unusual for one of the parties to help fund an investigation, required by UN rules to be independent, so as to ensure trust in any safety recommendations made.
There are also broader concerns about resources available for such investigations worldwide, coupled with the risk of agencies being ensnared in legal disputes.
The clock is ticking in the hunt for acoustic pings coming from the L3 Technologies Inc. cockpit voice recorder fitted to the jet. It has a 90-day beacon, the manufacturer’s online brochure shows.
The flight data recorder was retrieved three days after the crash, providing insight into aircraft systems and crew inputs, although the cause has yet to be determined.