Crown Prince Sultan of Saudi Arabia dies

Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz al Saud, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, died in his eighties. He was King Abdullah’s half brother and had been battling colon cancer since 2004.

Prince Sultan, in 1990. Image: US federal government.

He died in New York, where he had been getting treatment since 2009 for his terminal cancer.

He served as First Deputy Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia and was Minister of Defence and Aviation from 1963 to 2011. With his death, Prince Nayef, aged 78, is considered most likely to become the next in line to the throne.

He was also a strong supporter of the US after the events of 9/11.


Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim remains the world’s richest man

According to Forbes’ annual World’s Billionaire list released yesterday, Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim is the world’s richest person for the second year in a row, with a net worth of US$74 billion. American Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corp is again listed in second place with US$56 billion while investor Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway is third.

Carlos Slim, the world's richest man

China added the most new billionaires to the list with 54 while Russia added 31. The US came in third, with 23 new billionaires; American Mark Zuckerberg, chairman of Facebook, more than tripled his net worth to US$13.5 billion, placing him in Forbes’ 52nd spot.

Although the US is home to 413 billionaires, more than any other country, the changing distribution of global finances is evident. Today, due to the increasing wealth of emerging nations, just one in every three billionaires is American, a decline from ten years ago when Americans numbered one in every two. Brazil, Russia, India and China together accounted for more than 108 new billionaires. Last year, New York was home to more billionaires than any other city in the world, while this year Moscow is home to 79, which beats New York’s current number of 58.

Forbes lists a world total of 1,210 billionaires whose combined wealth is US$4.5 trillion, an increase from last year’s total of US$3.6 trillion.

Investigation launched after two military aircraft nearly collide with passenger airliner

New safety procedures are to be implemented after an American Airlines Boeing 777 came close to colliding with two U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft off the coast of New York, United States, last month. Radar data indicates the aircraft came within 1 miles (2 km) of each other before the flight crew of the Boeing 777 took evasive action as an alarm sounded in the cockpit of the jet.


An American Airlines Boeing 777. Image: Adrian Pingstone.

An aviation official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the traffic collision avoidance system alarm which sounded in the cockpit of the passenger jet, which had 259 people aboard, “may be what saved the day,” since C-17 cargo aircraft are not highly manoeuvrable. Investigators have reportedly found the aircraft would have collided head-on.


A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III. Image: U.S. Air Force.

The National Transportation Safety Board has launched a “major investigation” into the incident, and confirmed there were no injuries in the incident. The Federal Aviation Administration, the government department responsible for aviation in the U.S., said in a statement air traffic controllers are “reviewing a variety of procedures including the handling of formation flights, aircraft near sector boundaries.”

Delta flight makes emergency landing at JFK, no injuries

Delta Airlines flight 4951 made a safe emergency landing at JFK International Airport in New York City yesterday after the aircraft’s right landing gear failed. There were 64 passengers and crew members aboard as well as 3,000 gallons of flammable fuel.

Delta Airlines

The pilot maintained composure as he radioed air traffic control. He reported “The right gear is stuck up. The other two are down”. When asked which runway he wanted to land on, he stated “Whichever one would be better for you all.” They settled on Runway 31 Right.

JFK International, New York

Flight crew members prepped passengers for the emergency landing by telling them “heads down stay down!” in the crash position. The captain told them to brace for impact over the intercom.

Rescuers on the ground feared the worst on account of the 3,000 gallons of flammable fuel. As the plane landed, sparks flew from the righthand side but the plane did not catch fire.

All 64 people were shuttled safely from the aircraft to the airport.

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