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Prince Charles, Camilla to visit DC-area cultural sites
Washington: Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, are set to arrive in Washington and will visit cultural and educational sites over the next three days.
The British Embassy says the royal couple is scheduled to arrive today evening at Andrews Air Force Base and will be greeted with a reception at the British ambassador’s residence.
On Wednesday, Prince Charles and Camilla are scheduled to visit George Washington’s historic Mount Vernon estate in Virginia. Prince Charles will also visit the National Archives, and Camilla will visit the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington. On Thursday, the royal couple visits the Armed Forces Retirement Home, which also is the site of President Abraham Lincoln’s summer cottage.
They will also meet President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House. (AP)

First flying car to go on sale in 2017
London: A two-seater flying car which can take flight from any clear road could go on sale as early as 2017, potentially changing personal transport on a global scale, its manufacturers say.
The Czech-built vehicle can hit over 160 kph on the ground and it flies at 200kph on twin propellers. The car can land on just 150 feet of grass, and fly for up to 690 kilometres. It can be used in road traffic anywhere in Europe, and needs just 750 feet of clear road to take off. The car’s manufacturers hope it will “change personal transport on a global scale.” “We believe that by 2017 we’ll be able to launch this to market,” said Juraj Vaculik, CEO of Slovakian company Aeromobil. “We don’t even need airports. If something like a flying Uber and flying Lyft will be on the market, I think many users will find this a very efficient way to move,” Vaculik said. The company is in near-final prototype stage – and unlike other rivals, meets the criteria both for planes and for road vehicles in Europe, a website reported. The car is equipped with an autopilot – and a parachute for emergencies – and its makers hope it will herald a new age of “door to door” transportation. The working model was designed and built in just 10 months. Aeromobil also has toughened suspension, so that the car can take off from relatively rough terrain, including paved streets or parkland. However, Vaculik admits there are still some hurdles regarding where the plane is allowed to fly and take off. The company is yet to confirm a price tag or release date for the vehicle. (PTI)

Chinese man opens plane door, mistaking handle for handrail!
Beijing: In a bizarre incident, a Chinese man opened the the emergency exit of an aircraft when it was about to take off, mistaking the door handle for a handrail to steady himself. The male passenger, aged 42, who was travelling with his wife, was later placed in detention for 10 days for his “mistake”, Xinjiang’s local news portal iyaxin.com said. The man and his wife were on a flight on Saturday from an airport in Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang, travelling to Zhengzhou, in Henan province. He pulled the handle to unlock and opened the door as the Urumqi Airlines plane was preparing for take-off. “I thought it was just like the handrail on the bus, which I can hold on to by myself if I find myself sitting unsteadily,” the man was quoted as saying. He said it was his first time that he had sat next to an aircraft’s security door and had been shocked to find the door had swung open. Crew on flight UQ2505 quickly alerted police, and the man was taken away for questioning. The flight was delayed for about half an hour, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported. It is the latest in a string of incidents involving mainland Chinese passengers opening emergency exits as aircraft prepare to take off. Last month, an unidentified man was also detained for 10 days after opening an aircraft’s emergency exit as passengers were still boarding at the Nanjing Lukou International Airport. He was quoted as saying, “This door is not important”, when asked by airline staff why he had opened the door. In December, a first-time traveller opened the emergency exit of a Xiamen Air passenger jet to “get some fresh air” just before it was due to take off. (PTI)

Woman gets 70 lashes for insulting Saudi man on WhatsApp
Jeddah: A 32-year-old woman will receive 70 lashes and have to pay USD 5,332 fine for defaming a Saudi man on an instant messaging application. The woman was found guilty by a criminal court in Eastern Saudi Arabia of tarnishing the reputation of the complainant through WhatsApp, Okaz newspaper reported today. She was fined 20,000 Saudi Riyal (USD 5,332) and handed down 70 lashes by the court for the crime she committed. A case was filed by the complainant following an argument with the woman whose nationality was not mentioned. The defendant admitted she had insulted the man, Gulf News said.
Under the Saudi Anti-Cyber Crime Law, a person who commits, defames or inflicts damage upon others through the use of various information technology devices “shall be subject to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year and a fine not exceeding SR 500,000 or to either punishment.” In July last year, two women in the Red Sea city of Jeddah were sentenced to 10 days in jail and 20 lashes for insulting each other using WhatsApp. (PTI)

Pen used by Putin to sign Crimea treaty becomes museum piece
Moscow: A pen used by Russian President Vladimir Putin to sign Crimea’s independence treaty, will be displayed at the opening of an exhibition on Tuesday at the State Museum of Contemporary Russian History in Moscow.”There were a total of four pens quantitatively to the signatories. We have the pen which Putin used to sign the treaty,” Tass news agency quoted museum director Irina Velikanova as saying.
The exhibition titled “Crimea: The History Of Return”, prepared jointly by the Tavrida Central Museum in Simferopol and Russian Museum of Ethnography in St. Petersburg, has a total of 450 pieces and consists of three sections.The sections are devoted to Crimea’s history as part of the Russian empire, the main events in the peninsula in the 20th century, and its search for national and political identity in the early 1990s.
“There are also the materials devoted to the events of spring 2014 — leaflets, posters and the uniform of Crimea’s Berkut (special police force) fighters which we received from our colleagues in Crimea,” Velikanova said.The exhibition will continue till April 12.Russia and Crimea signed a treaty on the republic’s accession to Russia on March 16, 2014. The document was inked by the Russian president, the leadership of Crimea and the mayor of Sevastopol.Crimea used to be part of Russia from 1784 until 1954 when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev handed it over to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
Crimea remained part of independent Ukraine after Soviet Ukraine collapsed in 1991. (IANS)

Passenger removed from UA flight after yelling ‘Jihad!’
Washington: Alert passengers on board a United Airlines flight averted a potentially dangerous situation when they subdued a young co-passenger started yelling “Jihad! Jihad!” and appeared to threaten a hijacking. United Flight 1074 bound for Denver returned to Dulles International Airport outside Washington, DC last night after passengers pounced on a man who had yelled “Jihad! Jihad!”, according to comments posted on Reddit. The flight returned to Dulles at around 10:40 pm after a “disturbance onboard,” New York Daily News quoted Kimberly Gibbs, a spokeswoman for Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority as saying. Gibbs said she did not know what happened on the flight. The Boeing 737 was carrying 33 passengers and 6 crew. Law enforcement personnel met the aircraft at the gate and detained the passenger and took him to a hospital for evaluation, Gibbs said. Videos posted to Reddit showed a young man with facial cuts who had been subdued by several passengers after witnesses said he had made a run for the plane’s cockpit. A video posted on YouTube shows the passenger being subdued and crying, “I’m sorry”, as a voice tells him not to move.preparing to take off again for Denver International Airport. (PTI)

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