Arrive in Japan on Friday.
Uh oh, here come the big guns. A team of U.S. aviation experts arrived in Japan on Friday to inspect the Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet that was forced to make an emergency landing last week as the aircraft were grounded worldwide for battery issues. The five representatives from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration, and Boeing are working with Japanese authorities to investigate the aircraft, as regulators in Japan say it’s unclear when the plane can return to the air. Sources said the U.S. investigation is focused on the Japanese-made batteries—and there’s no indication the ones made by American manufacturer United Technology Pratt & Whitney were involved.
After battery problems link to fire risk.
The FAA is taking the "better safe than sorry" approach to the escalating concerns over safety of the Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Two Japanese airlines have already grounded all fleets of Dreamliners after battery problems have demonstrated a fire risk, and now the U.S. is doing the same. United, currently the only airline with Dreamliners, has been ordered to stop using them until the risk is fixed. "Before further flight, operators of U.S.-registered, Boeing 787 aircraft must demonstrate to the Federal Aviation Administration that the batteries are safe and in compliance," the FAA said Wednesday evening.
Two Japanese airlines have grounded Boeing’s new fleet of 787s. Aviation expert Clive Irving on the plane’s very bad week—and why we need an explanation quickly.
Over the course of the last week, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has become the most troubled airliner in the sky. Now the grounding of the plane by Japan’s two main airlines shows that Boeing faces its gravest challenge in decades.
An All Nippon Airways (ANA) Boeing 787 Dreamliner is seen after making an emergency landing at Takamatsu airport in Japan on January 16, 2013. The plane made the landing in Takamatsu after smoke appeared in the plane's cockpit, but all 137 passengers and crew members were evacuated safely, Osaka Airport said on Wednesday. (Kyodo/Reuters, via Landov)
A statement from the National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday made it clear what investigators regard as the most serious of the 787’s problems. As they drill deeper into the cause of the fire aboard a parked Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Boston last week, their focus is on a decision taken early in the development of the plane: to use lithium-ion batteries as a power source.
Last week’s fire was in one of these batteries, in an electronics bay under the rear of the cabin. The latest emergency, when a 787 flown by All Nippon Airways—the first airline to fly the 787—had to make an emergency landing in Japan, apparently involved a similar battery in a second electronics bay under the forward cabin.
The city has nurtured writers from Samuel Beckett to Seamus Heaney. Here are the places where you can follow their footsteps.
No. 1, Merrion Square, is perhaps the most renowned location in Dublin. Childhood home to Oscar Wilde from 1855 to 1878, the building is now a cultural facility that holds regular exhibitions. Merrion Square Park also has a large, opinion-dividing statue of Dublin’s favorite son.
With a patronage that included Samuel Beckett, Seamus Heaney, and James Joyce, Kennedy’s was also the pub of choice for Wilde (he drank stout, apparently). The bar, which retains many original features, was originally part of a grocery store that gave Wilde his first job, stacking shelves.
William Dalrymple, the acclaimed history and travel author, writes about the messy megacity that he calls home.
Delhi has been in the news for all the wrong reasons of late. The horrific gang rape and subsequent death of a young woman on her way back from seeing Life of Pi has lifted the lid on the casual violence of the Indian capital. For the rape is very much a Delhi story: while violence against women is a problem everywhere in India, it is generally agreed that women are most in danger in this vast, rough, messy megacity that I call home.
Martin Roemers/Panos Pictures
No one really knows how big Delhi is. Delhi the federal district has about 11 million inhabitants, but that figure disguises the fact that over the political boundaries in neighboring Haryana and Uttar Pradesh there sprawl suburbs that together contain millions more. By some estimates this greater urban Delhi contains more than 21 million people and is one of the most populous urban areas on Earth.
As the city has expanded it has swallowed up hundreds of ancient villages, where people’s lives and attitudes have changed little since the Mughal Middle Ages. It is the cheek-by-jowl coexistence of a deeply conservative patriarchal rural society alongside the very different world and moral norms of a modern urban city that has helped create the tensions that resulted in the recent tragedy.
Legendary explorer Sylvia Earle is saying goodbye to the ocean floor, but are machines good enough to take her place? Tony Dokoupil reports in Newsweek on the robot takeover of ocean science. Plus, in a Newsweek exclusive, A-List filmmaker James Cameron takes on Robert Ballard, the marine biologist who discovered the wreck of the Titanic.
The fall ends with a thud, our machine hitting the ocean floor, 1,500 feet beneath the Pacific swells.
It’s mid-morning, five miles off the coast of Hawaii, and the surface world suddenly feels like mere imagination, a theory in a water-logged science journal somewhere. Through the small round windows of Pisces IV, one of the deepest-diving subs in the world, our only reality is dark, airless, and teeming with unseen life.
Legendary explorer Sylvia Earle, pictured in 2012, resists the robot takeover of ocean science. (Hugh Gentry for Newsweek)
We are sock-footed and smushed into a seven-foot steel sphere: this writer, the sub’s pilot, and Sylvia Earle, perhaps the most accomplished oceanographer since Jacques Cousteau. At 77, she is the grande dame of American ocean science and exploration. But since the moment we closed the hatch, she’s been grinning like a schoolkid, calling out the changes outside our window: “Blue ... bluer ... blueissimo.” When we hit bottom, she cups her hands over her mouth and peers into the twilight. “Is anybody home?” she calls and, dropping her voice into a cartoonish baritone, answers her own question. “YEESSS,” she says. “ALL OF US.”
The novelist on the literary city of Wilde and Joyce. By Henry C. Krempels
Colm Toibin spends much of his time lying down, on a sofa, in the back room of his four-story Georgian house in Dublin, reading. The rest of his time is either spent at his writing desk, in New York (where he teaches a creative writing course at Columbia University), or doing all the errands that come with being an internationally known writer.
For the past 40 years Toibin has lived in Dublin—producing numerous essays, a play, and seven works of fiction—but it is only recently that the city has begun to creep into his writing. And yet he has managed to become as synonymous with Dublin as many of his historical counterparts, whose spirits add an extra layer to the city.
Can you describe the area of Dublin that you live in?
Hong Ying on sweet dreams in a place of suffering
I was born in the year of China’s Great Famine and grew up in a slum on the south bank of the Yangtze River in Chongqing. It was a place crowded with small wooden hovels, rotten and blackened houses, narrow alleys, and deep, twisting courtyards. The area had no plumbing or drainage facilities, so polluted water ran through channels alongside pedestrian walkways and flowed downward along mountain slopes. It was a place where rubbish piled up randomly along the roadsides, waiting to be washed away into the Yangtze River when there was heavy rain, or to decompose in the hot weather.
Buildings shrouded by dense fog in Chongqing, southwest China. (Luo Guojia/Xinhua via Corbis)
My family had only a 10-square-meter main room with a small wooden window facing south, just like a prison cell. The window was blocked by another house, and an electric light had to be turned on even in the daytime. My father made two beds, placing them in the loft for us six children to sleep in at night. My parents used the main room under the loft. When a bed was placed in it, the leftover space in the main room was only big enough for a five-drawer cabinet, an old cane chair, and a dining table. Our family’s six children had only one pair of heavy plastic rain boots between us. So whenever there was rain, whichever of us moved the fastest would be able to grab that pair of boots to wear, while the others had to wear gym shoes and get wet feet.
I was an illegitimate child, born of the love between my mother and another man. Because of this, my mother was rejected and attacked by all of society back then. My father was blinded during the years of the Great Famine, so my mother had to do manual labor just like a man, to keep our family life going. When I was a young girl, I never had any new clothes, playmates, or anyone who wanted to talk with me. I had to struggle forward in the darkness alone.
Twenty-five years ago Richard Woodward fled Britain for Christmas in Paris. He recalls a perfect holiday there—and the appearance of David Lynch’s film.
France never warmed my heart so much as the time I almost spent Christmas in England.
It was December 1987, the shortest days of the year, and I was overseas visiting an American pal who worked in Cambridge for the literary magazine Granta. As the holidays approached, we typically had made no plans. Freed of responsibility to be with our families, we began wondering whether it might be fun to put as little effort as possible into Christmas, maybe find a pub with a roaring fire and and a TV and decent food.
Don’t get your hopes up, said our buddies at the magazine. The English stay home at Christmas, we were informed. They pull up the drawbridges and leave strangers outside the castle in the cold. A few crummy places might be open if we were lucky, but we might not be.
Had my friend been the domestic sort who stocked the fridge for such emergencies, we might have managed. But he wasn’t. It was anchovy paste and stale crackers, or nothing.
Eight states dealing with massive snowfalls.
Holiday-travel hell is here. A pre-Christmas snowstorm sweeping the Midwest is threatening to upend holiday travel plans. Snow is blanketing eight states including Colorado, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, forcing airports to cancel flights. Des Moines International airport in Iowa shut down altogether. More than 400 flights routed through Chicago O’Hare were canceled due to the weather, leaving one of the busiest airports in the country operating below capacity. Travelers departing from areas with good weather may still get stranded, as many flights connect through Midwest hubs. Airlines tend to be close to fully booked this time of year, making it difficult to find seats for people whose flights have been canceled.
China’s fabled Mogao Grottoes turn to digital tourism. By Melinda Liu
Among China’s greatest art treasures are the Buddhist caves near Dunhuang, a Gobi Desert oasis on the fabled Silk Road that once linked China and Europe. Their ancient frescoes, sculptures, and other relics date as far back as A.D. 430 and have survived wars, environmental damage, antiquities hunters, and the chaotic Cultural Revolution.
The tour zooms in on the magnificent Tang-dynasty paintings of Cave 220. (Courtesy of ALiVE, CityU & Dunhuang Academy)
Today domestic tourism is the biggest threat: the UNESCO World Heritage site—which includes more than 700 caves, as well as 2,400 clay sculptures and 45,000 square meters of frescoes—has an optimal capacity of 3,000 per day, but peak times can see twice that many visitors.
The caves, also known as the Mogao Grottoes, are especially vulnerable to mass tourism. Their ecosystems are fragile, and a buildup of humidity and carbon dioxide—from visitors’ breath—can lead to flaking and discoloration of the delicate pigment-on-plaster wall paintings.
He’s a photographer who was lucky to grow up during Australia’s surf revolution. The pioneer talks to Josh Dzieza about his new book.
Kara Cutruzzula combs the beaches—and blackjack tables—of Puerto Rico for the meaning of ‘vacation.’
In ‘Mapping Manhattan,’ explore the city via 75 New Yorkers’ personal geographies. By Allison McNearney.
Travel writer Sara Wheeler, famous for her stories of polar expeditions, returns home to her city: Bristol.
Need to plan your next grand adventure? From Burma to Cuba, 12 places to see this year. By Nina Strochlic.
Say “no” to popular, overcrowded shores and head to an off-the-beaten-track waterfront... More