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US briefing: Boeing crash, marijuana legalisation and North Korea case

US briefing: Boeing crash, marijuana legalisation and North Korea case

157 passengers and crew killed in crash near Addis Ababa

Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all of its Boeing 737 Max 8 jets after a flight crashed near Addis Ababa on Sunday, killing all 157 people onboard. While the cause is yet to be determined, it is the second such disaster involving the new aircraft in just four months. A Lion Air plane crashed in Indonesia in October, killing 189. Carriers in China and the Cayman Islands have also suspended the jets, with two Chinese airlines telling the Guardian they have started using Boeing 737-800 aircraft instead of the Max 8.

  • UN delegates. Ethiopians made up the greatest number of victims of Sunday’s disaster, in which 18 Canadians and seven Britons also died. Many of those killed were delegates on their way to the UN environment assembly, which starts in Nairobi on Monday.
  • ‘Excellent’ pilot. Ethiopian Airlines said the flight’s pilot, who had an excellent flying record, had reported problems and asked to turn back to Addis Ababa before the crash.
  • Donald Trump’s ownership of Mar-a-Lago continues to raise ethical questions, after it was reported that a company run by one of his donors was offering Chinese clients the opportunity to mingle with the president at the private club in Palm Beach, Florida. The donor in question, Li Yang, once owned the day spa where Trump’s friend Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, was recently charged with soliciting prostitution.
    • Mueller investigation. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House intelligence committee, has said it would be a “mistake” if Robert Mueller fails to get Trump to testify before a grand jury as part of his Russia investigation.
    • It is a far cry from Bill Clinton’s claim that he “didn’t inhale”. The Democrats vying for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination are lining up to support marijuana legalisation, as has Trump’s sole Republican challenger, Bill Weld. New Jersey senator Cory Booker recently introduced legislation that would effectively legalise the drug at federal level; it was co-sponsored by several of his fellow 2020 contenders, including Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.Beto run? Beto O’Rourke last week argued for repeal of the federal prohibition on marijuana usage in an email to supporters; many expect the former Texas congressman to join the 2020 race this week.

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