A state-owned Belfast business is helping to furnish an Egyptian juvenile court, despite concerns over mass trials and death sentences in the country – including in the case of an Irish juvenile.
New research by human rights organization Reprieve has revealed that, since March 2015, Northern Ireland Cooperation Overseas (NI-CO) – a state-owned UK business that has contracts with the Foreign Office – has been involved in a €10 million EU-funded project to support “the Administration of Justice” in Egypt, in partnership with the country’s Ministry of Justice.
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What brought down EgyptAir Flight MS804?
In the early hours of 19 May 2016, EgyptAir Flight MS804 disappeared from radar. This disappearance prompted a search and rescue operation by numerous navies and air forces to search for the missing plane. This search eventually found wreckage from the plane and the body parts of its passengers. The downing of this flight has sparked an investigation into its cause. Naturally, many people, including presidential candidates, suspect that the plane was downed by a terrorist attack. However, since the facts surrounding the downing of the plane are unclear, this claim is probably premature. As a result, the evidence for and against this theory should be analyzed.
Since the investigation is ongoing, the facts of the downing of the plane are fuzzy and subject to change. However, at the time of writing, it is believed that EgyptAir Flight MS804 was flying at 37,000 feet. It then made a 90-degree turn to the left, followed by a 360-degree turn as it descended rapidly. It then disappeared from radar at an altitude of 10,000 feet. It is also believed that the smoke was detected in the lavatory and avionics equipment two minutes before the plane disappeared from radar. Many people who have analyzed these facts have argued that it is consistent with a terrorist attack. They would rightfully argue that the smoke is suspicious and consistent with a quick-burning fire or explosion. Alternatively, the erratic flight path of the plane could be consistent with a struggle in the cockpit between the pilots and a possible hijacker. Both of these are consistent with a terrorist attack.
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SITREP for March 14, 2015
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