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Boeing 787 Flights Grounded Worldwide Amidst Growing Safety Worries



TOKYO - Amidst continuing safety concerns, airlines and regulators have grounded the majority of Boeing’s flagship 787 Dreamliner planes around the world, reports the BBC.

By Thursday, chief air safety agencies in Europe, the United States, Japan and elsewhere had ordered flights halted.

The 787 is the newest jet for the Seattle-based company, but since its 2011 commercial launch, which already had been long delayed with technical problems, it has seen a series of additional problems, including: fuel leaks, a cracked cockpit window, braking problems, an electrical fire, and battery problems.

[rebelmouse-image 27086163 alt="""" original_size="640x473" expand=1]

Photo: An ANA 787 by Spaceaero2 via Wikipedia

On Wednesday night, Japanese All Nippon Airways (ANA) was forced to make an emergency landing due to battery malfunction. The Daily Yomiuri writes that the airline reported that an indicator light in an electrical panel at the front of the plane showed the presence of smoke. However, no passenger or crew member was able to confirm the smoke. No problems were reported with the take off or after the landing.

The AP says that U.S. officials and a Boeing engineer are due in Japan on Friday to further investigate this emergency landing.

Air India's decision on Thursday to ground its 787s, under orders from Indian aviation authorities, means that 36 of the 50 jets in use around the world are out of action. ANA, which has 17 and Japan Airlines, 7, voluntarily halted flights Wednesday after the emergency landing but aviation authorities have now made the grounding official, according to the AP.

Kyodo writes that in a statement, the U.S. regulator said that "As a result of an in-flight Boeing 787 battery incident earlier today in Japan, the FAA will issue an emergency airworthiness directive to address a potential battery fire risk in the 787 and require operators to temporarily cease operations."

Boeing have said that they are working in collaboration with the investigators. Company chairman, president and CEO Jim McNerney stated “ We are confident the 787 is safe and we stand behind its overall integrity.”

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A Naturalist's Defense Of The Modern Zoo

Zoos are often associated with animal cruelty, or at the very least a general animal unhappiness. But on everything from research to education to biodiversity, there is a case to be made for the modern zoo.

Photograph of a brown monkey holding onto a wired fence

A brown monkey hangs off of mesh wire

Marina Chocobar/Pexels
Fran Sánchez Becerril


MADRID — Zoos — or at least something resembling the traditional idea of a zoo — date back to ancient Mesopotamia. It was around 3,500 BC when Babylonian kings housed wild animals such as lions and birds of prey in beautiful structures known as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Ancient China also played a significant role in the history of zoos when the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) created several parks which hosted an assortment of animals.

In Europe, it wouldn't be until 1664 when Louis XIV inaugurated the royal menagerie at Versailles. All these spaces shared the mission of showcasing the wealth and power of the ruler, or simply served as decorations. Furthermore, none of them were open to the general public; only a few fortunate individuals, usually the upper classes, had access.

The first modern zoo, conceived for educational purposes in Vienna, opened in 1765. Over time, the educational mission has become more prominent, as the exhibition of exotic animals has been complemented with scientific studies, conservation and the protection of threatened species.

For decades, zoos have been places of leisure, wonder, and discovery for both the young and the old. Despite their past success, in recent years, society's view of zoos has been changing due to increased awareness of animal welfare, shifting sensibilities and the possibility of learning about wild animals through screens. So, many people wonder: What is the purpose of a zoo in the 21st century?

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