Newspaper headlines: ‘Palace crisis’ and a government ‘betrayal’
By BBC News
A plane has crashed in Mexico’s city of Durango, television images show, with 97 passengers and four crew aboard.
Aeroméxico flight AM2431 was flying from Guadalupe Victoria International Airport to Mexico City.
Local media report the crash happened five minutes after take-off, and that passengers were seen walking to a nearby road to seek help.
Durango state governor José Aispuro wrote on Twitter that there were no official figures on casualties.
Aeroméxico also wrote on Twitter, saying that it was working to get more information.
Emergency services are already at the scene, with footage showing smoke billowing from the aircraft.
The plane was an Embraer 190.
At what point does emotion overtake logic? Inductive logic can be as simple as premise + premise = reasonable conclusion. Many flowers are red; most flowers smell good. Therefore red flowers should smell good. That’s easy enough, until you realize that titan arum, aka the corpse flower, blooms a deep red but smells like a locked dumpster that’s been sitting outside a Las Vegas Arby’s for the entire month of August.
Logic can therefore be tricky, especially, I’d argue, in the case of overwhelmingly beautiful sports cars. The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera is fist-chewingly gorgeous; cars with 715 horsepower are fabulous. Obviously then, the DBS Superleggera is the Aston Martin we’ve all been dreaming about since we loved our first car. Or is it? Only a black-hearted cynic could deny this brute’s charms, and then only out of spite. However, in the interest of a fanboy’s attempt at journalism, let me at least walk you through the trial before I deliver the verdict.
Friends, it’s Marek Reichman’s world; we’re just living in it. Even though he won’t follow me back on Instagram, Aston’s chief creative officer just hit a royal flush while the rest of the industry is shouting, “Go fish.” I’m sorry, but with the notable exception of the DB4 Zagato, I think this new DBS is the most beautiful Aston Martin since … ever. It’s a riveting design, blood pumping, jaw dropping, sweat inducing. I’ll save you the list of each and every physical reaction caused by Reichman’s latest and greatest, but rest assured, the car moves you.
The hard nose is exquisite, the front three-quarters a masterpiece. The side profile smartly apes the aforementioned DB4 Zagato, but in loving homage, not slavish facsimile. And those hips! Sinful is putting my feelings mildly. If I have a single gripe, it’s with the Superleggera’s Teutonic rear end, specifically the gaudy 144-point A S T O N M A R T I N spelled out like a chrome billboard. I understand the argument: Customers in emerging luxury markets (Hi, China!) aren’t always sure what they’re looking at so the signage is needed. But with a design this strong, it’s not needed. Plus it looks tacky. Thankfully, fishing wire and Goo Gone are cheap. Did I mention how small and perfect the taillights are?
The interior? There’s a saying in the beer brewing world: Hand ten brewers the same recipe and ingredients, and you’ll get ten different beers. Long story short: What one guy calls a boil, another lady deems as not quite roiling. Because of the human factor, each beer is unique. The same is true for the DBS Superleggera’s insides. Since the seats are hand-stitched, the same person who sews the driver’s seat sews the passenger seat. Otherwise each seat’s patterns would fail to match. Can’t have that. Remember, even if you’re not in love with the interior photographs attached here, Aston Martin’s Q department can (nearly) outfit the innards any way you like. And yes, it’s basically the same interior as the DB11 AMR, which is no bad thing.
Under that exquisite carbon-fiber hood beats a vicious heart; Aston’s Cologne-sourced 5.2-liter twin-turbo V-12 with the boost turned up by 5 psi. The results are 715 horsepower as well as 664 lb-ft of torque. DB11/DBS mini-CEO Paul Barritt assured us that unless Aston swaps in physically larger turbochargers, this is the most power that this motor can make. Expect to see larger snails on the DBS refresh in four years. All that power and fury is routed via a carbon-fiber torque tube to a high-torque-capable ZF eight-speed transaxle. The entire rear subframe is soft-mounted to the unibody via rubber bushings like on the DB11, unlike the hard-mounted rear of the Vantage.
Despite its prodigious power output, the Superleggera is still first and foremost a grand tourer, not a sports car. The previous iteration of this vehicle was named “Vanquish,” but because of lightweighting efforts this time around, Aston Martin went and licensed the Superleggera moniker from Italy’s Touring to more accurately describe the DBS (meanwhile, the upcoming mid-engine Aston will probably be called Vanquish, because why waste a great name).
Crack the throttle of the Superleggera, and all sorts of hijinks ensue. Forward momentum is one of them, but with so much power travelling through just two wheels, well, hijinks. Should you have the traction control fully on, then the little yellow light will flicker on the dash, letting you know that the 305/30 ZR21 Pirelli P Zeros are having momentary grip issues (the fronts are 265/35 ZR21). Now, it should be pointed out that torque is limited through first, second, and third gears in normal and Sport modes. If you are in Sport Plus, then torque is restricted in just first and second.
Remember those soft rubber bushings holding the rear end onto the rest of the car? As the engine cuts, but then allows power, you can feel the transaxle rocking around back there. Even under small applications of throttle, you can feel the housing move as the torque converter locks and unlocks. Although the amount of movement is both interesting and comical, it’s kind of a mess. I’m hoping that I drove early cars and that Job One vehicles will be a bit better sorted. Still, I can’t stop thinking about the fact that I’ve never driven an automatic transaxle vehicle that was 100 percent shipshape. Specifically, I’m thinking about the Corvette and how its slushbox is never actually good enough. I think the solution for the DBS is active transaxle mounts, like AMG employs on its GT S. That car puts down power like an all-wheel driver. All that said, Aston claims the Superleggera can crack 62 mph in 3.4 seconds. Quick enough, says me.
Although the DBS Superleggera may not be the finest drag racer the world has ever seen, blasting from, say, 40 to 80 mph, or 40 to 100 mph, or (let’s be honest) to 130 mph could very well be its own sport. Any issues I had with standing starts were instantly forgotten as I spent the better part of three hours passing as much Bavarian Alpine traffic as possible (pro driving tip: Avoid Berchtesgaden at the height of summer). Thanks to generous helpings of carbon bits including the brakes, this car should weigh 159 pounds less than the 4,194-pound DB11. What an intoxicating rocket sled. What a torque monster.
At the launch of the DB11 AMR, the 630-horsepower refresh of the V-12-engined DB11, Aston CEO Andy Palmer was quick to point out that the AMR produced more horsepower than the new Bentley Continental GT (630 versus 626) and had a 1 mph higher top speed (208 versus 207). What Mr. Palmer didn’t know was that I’d just driven the new Conti, and due to its AWD traction, the Bentley felt like it would get to its V-max well before the Aston. The AMR is a fast car, but no match for the Bentley. Now, with the DBS, which should weigh 1,000 pounds less than the Continental GT, the Aston feels like the quicker machine. Perhaps much quicker. I’m not sure if the Superleggera actually is, but the car feels that way. Just an awesome feeling of on-road invincibility. Also, the DBS can hit 211 mph. Neener, neener.
Dynamically, the DBS rocks. What a wonderfully sorted front end. The steering is beautifully weighted, neutral, and imbued with great-for-a-modern-car feedback. You can fall into the clutches of understeer should you fail to brake hard enough for a corner (sorry!), but that’s on the driver, not the car. For the most part the DBS offers a front end that refuses to quit. The sounds of the snarly V-12 have been enhanced for DBS duty, and the results are fab. What I love most is that you’re not hearing separate induction and exhaust noises, but rather a full-on mechanical symphony taking place inside the cabin. One with just the right amount of turbo whirl mixed in, too. It’s glorious. In fact, you can apply that descriptor to the driving experience itself. I’m still drunk on the memories.
At this point, I’m almost ready to conclude that with the DBS Superleggera, Aston Martin is just showing off. Quibbles about the transmission programming aside, the Superleggera’s big flaw is its unobtainable price. Just over $308,000 to start, and the metallic crimson example with the lovely navy blue leather and red contrast stitching raises the buy-in to up over $370,000. That’s some serious scratch, and hard to logically justify. Though as Marek Reichman so famously said, “You don’t need an Aston Martin. You want an Aston Martin.” Damn skippy. Had I the means, I’d buy one just to look at the damn thing. Consider the driving experience a nice little bonus.
The post 2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera First Drive: Glorious. Glorious. Glorious. appeared first on Motor Trend.
Apple sold fewer iPhones than expected in its most recent quarter but their higher price tag meant the tech giant still beat analyst forecasts.
The firm said it sold 41.3 million iPhones in the three months to the end of June, up just 1% from last year.
But the average iPhone selling price hit $724, well above the expected $694.
The firm said its $999 iPhone X – launched last year – remained its most popular iPhone model in the quarter and had driven the higher selling prices.
Strong revenue growth of 31% from Apple’s services business, which includes the App store, Apple Music and Apple Pay, also boosted its performance.
Overall the tech giant’s revenue jumped 17% year-on-year to $53.3bn (£40.6bn), with every region except Japan reporting double digit growth.
The firm reported profit of $11.5bn, up 32% compared to the same period in 2017.
Shares in the Californian tech giant jumped more than 3% in after hours trading in New York.
The gains bring Apple, already the world’s most valuable company, one step closer to a market value of $1 trillion.
The strong demand for the firm’s most expensive phones marked a contrast with Samsung, which disappointed investors by warning of lower than expected sales of its high-end Galaxy S9 .
But Apple faces increasing competition for the smart phone market.
Chinese tech company Huawei, which reported 15% revenue growth in the first half of 2018, took Apple’s spot as the world’s number two smartphone seller in the quarter, according to market research firm Canalys.
|2018 Hockey Women’s World Cup|
|Venue: Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London Dates: 21 July-5 August|
|Coverage: Live commentary of every England game online and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, reports on England and Ireland matches on the BBC Sport website|
England beat South Korea 2-0 to reach the World Cup quarter-finals.
A scrappy Sophie Bray field goal midway through the first quarter put England in front before Lily Owsley sealed the win late on.
South Korea struggled to threaten, although England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch made two crucial saves – one in the third quarter and one with minutes left – with the score at 1-0.
The hosts will play Netherlands in the last eight on Thursday.
England could have won more convincingly but wasted a number of good first-half opportunities, with Alex Danson guilty of going alone rather than setting up Bray for a tap-in moments before half-time.
South Korea were then able to exert some second-half pressure but they were punished after pulling their goalkeeper late on in a bid for an equaliser, allowing Owsley to break and score into an empty net to make it 2-0 with a minute left on the clock.
Earlier in the day, India beat Italy 3-0 to line up a quarter-final against Ireland.
London 2012 bronze medallist Sally Walton, 5 Live Sports Extra:
That’s the England we have been waiting to see. They controlled the game from start to finish. They had more composure and thoroughly deserved the win.
It was great to see two different goalscorers and they will be full of confidence going into the quarter-finals.
England’s game against the Netherlands will be the first game in this tournament they will go into as underdogs. I think England will thrive on that.
England goalscorer Sophie Bray: “It was good for us to get the first goal. It meant South Korea had to come out and play more, which gave us more opportunities. Credit to our defenders- it was a solid performance to keep South Korea out.”
England coach Danny Kerry: “I really enjoyed the first half. We absolutely smashed it. In the second half, we lost some shape up front, but the first half was fantastic.
“We took away South Korea’s game. We didn’t allow them to set up big shapes. We forced them to play deep and then we turned them over and counter-attacked. That’s what I was most happy about.
“I knew the second half would be cagey as fatigue set in, but I’m a pretty proud coach. We have a few things up our sleeve for the Dutch.”
Wednesday 1 August
Germany v Spain, 18:00
Australia v Argentina, 20:15
Thursday 2 August
Netherlands v England, 18:00
Ireland v India, 20:15
Why actor Seth Rogen is telling Canadians not to clip their nails on public transport.
A fan takes a brilliant crowd catch from Craig Meschede’s six as Glamorgan chase chase down 195 to beat Surrey by four wickets in the T20 Blast at The Oval.
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Suppliers of fire doors have been told to make changes after products from five brands failed safety tests following the Grenfell Tower fire.
An investigation was launched after it was found that a fire door from Grenfell Tower could only hold back fire for half the time it was meant to.
Problems have now been found with doors from other firms, the government said.
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has suggested “there is a broader issue across the fire door market”.
He stressed that the risk was low, however.
All doors known to have failed to meet safety standards have been withdrawn from the market and local trading standards have been informed, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said.
The Grenfell Tower door, manufactured by Manse Masterdor, failed a 30-minute fire resistance test after about 15 minutes.
Doors made by its successor company Masterdor Ltd, as well as those from Specialist Building Products Ltd, trading as Permadoor, Solar Windows Ltd, and Birtley Group Ltd, trading as Bowater by Birtley, have now failed government tests too.
Mr Brokenshire said he was “calling on suppliers to meet this week and provide reassurance that they are gripping this issue properly”.
“I want to see a clear plan of action to rectify existing problems and ensure such failures are not repeated in the future,” he added.
“Whilst our expert panel assures me the risk remains low, I want to assure the public that the government is doing everything it can to ensure construction products are of the highest safety standards and accurately tested and marketed.”
The manufacturers cooperated fully with the government investigations, launched by the MHCLG after the Grenfell fire.
In total, 72 people died as a result of the fire in North Kensington, west London, on 14 June 2017.
The ministry is now writing to all building control bodies to highlight the need for existing building regulations guidance on new fire door installations to be followed.
The major suppliers of fire doors have been asked to make weekly reports on their progress after meeting this week to discuss the issue.
Experts say the risk to public safety is low because even when fire doors do not meet the full resistance standards, they provide some protection from the spread of a blaze.
The father of British snowboarder Ellie Soutter who died on her 18th birthday believes she could have been struggling with the pressure of competing in high-level sport.
Tony Soutter told BBC South East he had lost his best friend, his “total buddy” and his rock.
Ellie “wanted to be the best” and not “let anybody down”, he said.
UK Sport said it was working with partners to provide appropriate support for athletes.
Speaking publicly for the first time since his daughter’s death on 25 July, Mr Soutter said he believes his daughter’s history of mental health issues coupled with the pressure of elite performance may have contributed to her ending her life in Les Gets in the French Alps.
“She wanted to be the best,” he said. “She didn’t want to let anybody down.
“Unfortunately it all came about from missing a flight which then meant she didn’t go training with the GB squad.
“She felt she’d let them down, felt she’d let me down and just tragically it just takes one silly little thing like that to tip someone over the edge, because there’s a lot of pressure on children.”
Calling for action to help other young athletes, Mr Soutter added: “Mental health awareness needs to be really looked at and made more public.”
He said: “I have lost my best friend, my total buddy. She was my rock.”
Soutter grew up in Oxted, Surrey, before moving to the Alps where she trained.
Her bronze was Team GB’s only medal at the Youth Olympic Winter Festival in Turkey last year.
Her family have set up a foundation in her name to help young winter sports athletes needing financial support.
The Samaritans provides advice on what to do if someone finds they are struggling themselves or sees another person having difficulties.
A spokesman for UK Sport said: “This is a desperately sad situation and our thoughts are with all of Ellie’s family and friends.
“We are working with all of our Olympic and Paralympic programmes and the mental health charity Mind to make sure appropriate support is in place.”
A statement issued by British Ski and Snowboard said: “Ellie was an incredibly popular and well-liked member of the team and the country has lost a great talent.
“The wellbeing of all athletes across every discipline is the primary concern of any sporting organisation.
“We commend the family for setting up the Ellie Soutter Foundation and they have our full support.”
The BBC has also approached the British Olympic Association for comment.
If you have been affected by this story, help and support is available via BBC Action Line.
Facebook says it has removed 32 accounts and pages believed to have been set up to influence the mid-term US elections in November.
It said it was in the “very early” stages of the investigation and did not yet know who was behind the pages.
It said the account creators had gone to greater lengths to hide their identities than a Russia-based campaign to disrupt the US presidential vote.
It described attempts to erase election interference as an “arms race.”
The social network said in a blog that it had identified 17 suspect profiles on Facebook and seven Instagram accounts.
It said that there were more than 9,500 Facebook posts created by the accounts and one piece of content on Instagram.
In total more than 290,000 accounts followed at least one of the pages involved, it added.
Facebook said the suspect accounts had also run about 150 ads on Facebook and Instagram, costing a total of $11,000 (£8,300).
The most popular fake accounts were:
The “bad actors” went to far greater lengths to cover their tracks than the Russian-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) had in the past, Facebook said.
This included using virtual private networks (VPNs) to hide their location, and using third parties to run ads on their behalf.
The social network said it had not found evidence of Russian IP (internet protocol) addresses.
But it did find one link between the IRA and the new accounts. One of disabled IRA accounts shared a Facebook event hosted by the Resisters page. The page also briefly listed an IRA account as one of its administrators.
The Resisters account also created a Facebook event for a protest on 10 to 12 August called “No Unite the Right 2”.
Facebook said it would alert the 2,600 users who had expressed interest in the event.
It added that it “may never be able to identify the source” for the fake accounts.
Republican congressman Adam Schiff said in response to the news: “Today’s announcement from Facebook demonstrates what we’ve long feared: that malicious foreign actors bearing the hallmarks of previously-identified Russian influence campaigns continue to abuse and weaponise social media platforms to influence the US electorate.”
“Foreign influence actors remain readily capable of manipulating raw emotion and societal divisions to prey on unsuspecting Americans who use these same social media tools for legitimate political expression, organisation, and advocacy.”
The Democratic Senator Mark Warner, who is vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, also pointed his finger at Moscow.
“Today’s disclosure is further evidence that the Kremlin continues to exploit platforms like Facebook to sow division and spread disinformation, and I am glad that Facebook is taking some steps to pinpoint and address this activity,” he said.
“I also expect Facebook, along with other platform companies, will continue to identify Russian troll activity and to work with Congress on updating our laws to better protect our democracy in the future.”