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Germanwings A320 Co-Pilot Deliberately Crashed Plane: Prosecutor

Recorder

Andreas Lubitz, identified as the co-pilot of the Germanwings A320 that crashed in the Alps on Tuesday morning, intentionally put the aircraft into a dive while the pilot was locked out of the cockpit, a Marseille prosecutor told reports today. Death was "sudden and immediate" for all aboard.

The Guardian reports on the press conference.

The co-pilot, a German citizen, was reportedly alive until the time of impact:

The first 20 minutes of conversation between the pilot and co-pilot was amicable, then the co-pilot took over when the pilot left to make a “natural call”.

At this point, the co-pilot accelerated the plane’s descent using the keys of the monitoring system. The prosecutor described it as a “voluntary” action.

In the remaining 10 minutes there are a number of appeals by the pilot to get access to the cockpit but there was no access, the prosecutor said. The pilot knocks on the door but there is not response. There is the sound of breathing from the co-pilot until impact.

 “The intention was to destroy this plane," said the prosecutor.

“He was breathing normally, he did not utter a single word...He had no reason to disable contact with other planes...We could hear the cries minutes before the plane crashed.”

“Absolute silence inside the cockpit. Nothing, no word during the last 10 minutes...I think he refused to open the door and turned the button to get down the plane. It was a voluntary action on the part of the co-pilot... He is not known as a terrorist, absolutely not...We do not have sentiment that there was panic (in cockpit) as he was breathing normally.”

The prosecutor declined to call the pilot's action a suicide. "When you commit suicide, you die alone. With 150 on the plane, I wouldn't call that suicide."

The most recent report from the BBC, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Teen's Family Attempts To Kidnap And Force Him Into A Straight Marriage: VIDEO

Screenshot 2015-03-12 19.02.40

At the age of 15 Nasser El-A made the decision to come out to his his conservative Lebanese family. Though Nasser and his family lived in relatively progressive Berlin at the time, many of his relatives thought of his revelation as being sacrilegious and took steps to “fix” him.

Years later, after multiple threats of physical violence and an instance in which he was doused in gasoline, Nasser fled his home in search of a place where he might find refuge. Ultimately, the teen found Papatya, an outreach group specializing in the housing needs of battered women and children. He stayed with the organization until being invited back home by his mother who assured his safety.

Upon returning home, however, Nasser’s father and two of his uncles kidnapped the teenager in an attempt to whisk him off to Lebanon and force him into an arranged marriage with a woman. Given Nasser's age, his kidnapping triggered an Interpol alert. The boy was found hours later by police authorities along the Romanian-Bulgarian border and brought back to Germany.

Though Nasser’s father and two uncles were unsuccessful in trying to forcibly convert the boy, the Berlin Criminal Court slapped each of the men with fines close to $2000 for the roles they played in the kidnapping.

"I'm not someone who hides away. I don't want to suppress my sexuality," Nasser said after the recent court ruling. "I have managed to bring this case to court. For me this chapter in my life is over now."

Listen to Nasser's full statements AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Travel Dispatch of the Day: Carnival in Cologne, Germany

2_yabis
Writes DJ Yabis on Instagram: "Yeehaw! Best spot to watch #CologneCarnival 🎉🎶🎉🎶 #asianfingers #notapresstriphashtag"

This new series features dispatches from LGBTQ travel writers, bloggers, and photographers who are on the road in far-flung places. If you know somebody who should be featured here, send us an email at travel@towleroad.com.

DJ Yabis is a travel writer and trip planner who has traveled to more than 100 European cities in the last three years. Currently he's in Cologne, Germany where there is an annual carnival underway, similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and he's been posting a few images and clips to Instagram.

Today marks the culmination of Germany's weeklong Carnival festivities highlighted by a long, raucous costumed parade, lots of drinking and singing. Carnival ends at midnight between Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. While the festival has religious origins it has a political dimension as well.

Bloomberg reports that this year the Rose Monday parade (which took place today) gave a nod to Charlie Hebdo:

A float featuring a clown watering a garden of pencils with the words “freedom to joke” led the traditional Rose Monday parade through the streets of the old town on Monday. Authorities previously rejected as too provocative a motif by the Koelnische Karnevals-Gesellschaft von 1945 e.V. with the clown blocking an Islamist terrorist’s gun barrel with a pencil.

DJ posted a few videos from the parade in Cologne, which travels through the old city. You can follow him on Instagram here or his blog here.

More, AFTER THE JUMP...

And find out more about Gay Cologne, here.

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German Town Tricks Neo-Nazis into Marching Against Themselves: VIDEO

Neonazis

Every year for the past 25 years, a group of neo-Nazis marches in Wunsiedel, Upper Franconia, the former burial place of Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess. But they got a big surprise this year when they unwittingly marched against themselves after the town secretly turned their march into a walkathon to raise money against them.

Write the organizers:

On November 15th, neo-Nazis walked through the streets of Wunsiedel. We could not stop them - but we could make them walk for something meaningful: and that is how for the first time a right-wing memorial march became a charity walk - without knowing of the participants. For every meter they walked, €10 went to EXIT-Deutschland - a Nazi opt-out programme. The result: €10.000 and lots of surprised right-wing extremists. But we believe there is more to come. With your support. Engage against neo-Nazis - in everyday life, online or with a donation. www.rechtsgegenrechts.de

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Along the way they were mocked with signs reading “If only the Führer knew!”

Fuhrer

They also provided bananas for the marchers with a sign reading “Mein Mampf” (my munch).

Don't miss the clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Couple Share Cute Moment In German Cookie Advertisement: VIDEO

GermanGayAd

German company Brandt Zwieback, advertising what appears to be a chocolate cookie, took an opportunity to turn a simple commercial into a cute, romantic moment between a gay couple. I know my day would be made if a significant other surprised me with chocolate...

Check out the ad, AFTER THE JUMP...

GermanGayAd2

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Three Arrested in Attack That Left German Gay Rights Activist in Critical Condition: VIDEO

Serbia

A 27-year-old German gay rights activist who was attending a LGBT conference in Belgrade, Serbia is in critical condition after sustaining "life threatening" injuries from an attack Saturday.

Three men have been arrested in connection with the attack - which was captured on CCTV footage, PinkNews reports:

Dusan Jovanovic, deputy director of the hospital where the man is being treated, said the man [whose name has not yet been released] has undergone surgery but is still in a “serious condition”.

He suffered internal bleeding and head injuries in the attack.

It is thought that he was set upon by a gang of men who screamed about “foreigners” in Belgrade, following the gay rights conference.

Footage of the brutal attack AFTER THE JUMP...(warning: violence)

It's unknown how much (if any) the man's sexual orientation played a part in the attack. Anti-LGBT sentiment is rampant in Serbia though, with the government frequently shutting down planned gay pride marches

Continue reading "Three Arrested in Attack That Left German Gay Rights Activist in Critical Condition: VIDEO" »


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