Iran backtracks on plan to send flight recorders to Ukraine

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Updated 19 January 2020

Iran backtracks on plan to send flight recorders to Ukraine

  • An Iranian official said “the flight recorders from the Ukrainian Boeing are in Iranian hands and we have no plans to send them out”
  • He said Iran is working to recover the data and cabin recordings, and that it may send the flight recorders to Ukrain or France

TEHRAN: The Iranian official leading the investigation into the Ukrainian jetliner that was accidentally shot down by the Revolutionary Guard appeared to backtrack Sunday on plans to send the flight recorders abroad for analysis, a day after saying they would be sent to Kiev.
Hassan Rezaeifar was quoted by the state-run IRNA news agency as saying “the flight recorders from the Ukrainian Boeing are in Iranian hands and we have no plans to send them out.”
He said Iran is working to recover the data and cabin recordings, and that it may send the flight recorders — commonly known as black boxes — to Ukraine or France. “But as of yet, we have made no decision.”
The same official was quoted by the semi-official Tasnim news agency on Saturday as saying the recorders would be sent to Ukraine, where French, American and Canadian experts would help analyze them. Iranian officials previously said the black boxes were damaged but are usable.
It was not immediately possible to reconcile the conflicting accounts. Iran may be hesitant to turn over the recorders for fear that more details from the crash — including the harrowing 20 seconds between when the first and second surface-to-air missiles hit the plane — will come to light.
The Guard’s air defenses shot the plane down shortly after it took off from Tehran on Jan. 8, killing all 176 people on board. Hours earlier, the Guard had launched ballistic missiles at US troops in Iraq in response to the US airstrike that killed Iran’s top general in Baghdad. Officials say lower-level officers mistook the plane for a US cruise missile.
Iranian officials initially said the crash was caused by a technical problem and invited countries that lost citizens to help investigate. Three days later, Iran admitted responsibility after Western leaders said there was strong evidence the plane was hit by a surface-to-air missile.
The victims included 57 Canadian citizens as well as 11 Ukrainians, 17 people from Sweden, four Afghans and four British citizens. Most of those killed were Iranians. The other five nations have demanded Iran accept full responsibility and pay compensation to the victims’ families.
The plane was a Boeing 737-800 that was designed and built in the US The plane’s engine was designed by CFM International, a joint company between French group Safran and US group GE Aviation. Investigators from both countries have been invited to take part in the probe.


UAE’s equal pay law for men, women in private sector takes effect

Updated 6 min 41 sec ago

UAE’s equal pay law for men, women in private sector takes effect

  • The draft was first approved by the UAE cabinet in 2018
  • The UAE ranked 26th globally in the United Nations Development Programmes’ 2019 Gender Inequality Index

DUBAI: A presidential decree mandating equal pay for men and women in the private sector took effect on Friday, state news agency WAM reported.

The new law stated that “female employees shall receive wages equal to that of males if they perform the same work or another of equal value.”

UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan issued a decree to implement the new legislation, which was first approved by the country’s cabinet in 2018.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization said the new law elevated the country’s regional and international reputation in gender equality.

A World Economic Forum report published earlier this year claimed the UAE was a regional leader in bridging the gender pay gap.

“Congratulations to all the women working in the UAE private sector. This step will undoubtedly boost the social inclusivity of women, support their role in national development, and advance the UAE’s status on the world’s Gender Equality Index,” President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed, said on Twitter.

The UAE ranked 26th globally in the United Nations Development Programmes’ 2019 Gender Inequality Index.