National News Stories, Friday, March 29th; 2nd Man Dies Falling Into Grand Canyon In A Week

by Don Early and Aaron Martinez for Basin Life Magazine

FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2019

2nd Man dies after falling 1,000 feet into Grand Canyon

Two people have died in separate incidents at the Grand Canyon this week, including a tourist who fell 1,000 feet into the canyon while attempting to take photos.

The man fell early Thursday near Eagle Point at Grand Canyon West, an area that is also home to the popular Skywalk attraction. His body was recovered by helicopter later in the day and will be sent to a local medical examiner.

The man was identified as a visitor from Hong Kong in his 50s, who was part of a tour group visiting the area. His name has not been released, Grand Canyon West spokesman David Leibowitz said.

“The thoughts and prayers of every Grand Canyon West employee remain with the loved ones of this individual and the members of the tour group,” the park said in a statement.

The Skywalk is a U-shaped, glass-bottomed bridge that juts over the rim of the canyon, located on the Hualapai Tribe’s reservation outside of the National Park.

In a separate incident, a body identified only as that of a foreign national was found Thursday in a wooded area south of Grand Canyon village, Grand Canyon National Park spokeswoman Vanessa Ceja-Cervantes told reporters.

The cause of the person’s death is unclear at this time. The National Park Service and the local medical examiner’s office are investigating the death.

On average, the Grand Canyon sees two to three deaths each year from falls over the rim.

The Grand Canyon attracts around 6.4 million visitors each year, making it one of the most-visited tourist attractions in the U.S.

What’s next for Democrats?

Democrats in Congress can’t seem to move forward and their conspiracy theories continue, starting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who reminded reporters that the Robert Mueller Report is 300 pages long….yet they’ve only seen 101 words of it.

The Justice Department is supposed to be scrubbing the Mueller report for release in some form to Congress but it’ll take redactions, cuts or edits to protect the DOJ and FBI and likely will only feed frustration and lead to further conspiracy theories. Stay tuned.

Parliament rejects Brexit exit again.

In Britain, U.K. lawmakers today rejected the government’s divorce deal with the European Union for a third time, leaving the UK just two weeks to decide between a long delay to Brexit and an abrupt no-deal departure from the bloc.

Lawmakers in Britain’s House of Commons voted 286-344 against the withdrawal agreement struck between Prime Minister Theresa May and the EU, rebuffing her plea to “put aside self and party” and “accept the responsibility given to us by the British people” to deliver Brexit.

A visibly frustrated May said the vote had “grave” implications.

“The legal default now is that the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union on 12 April — in just 14 days’ time,” she said. “This is not enough time to agree, legislate for and ratify a deal, and yet the House has been clear it will not permit leaving without a deal. And so we will have to agree an alternative way forward.”

Had the deal been passed, Britain would have left the EU on May 22.

The EU said the rejection of divorce terms made a no-deal Brexit “a likely scenario” and called an emergency summit for April 10 to decide what to do next.   Almost three years after Britain voted in June 2016 to leave the EU, British politicians remain deeply gridlocked over Brexit. May had urged divided legislators to support the deal and finally break an impasse that has left Britons uncertain when, or even if, the country will leave the EU.

Prime Minister May’s deal was voted down even after the prime minister sacrificed her job in exchange for Brexit, promising to quit if lawmakers approved the agreement and let Britain leave the EU on schedule. With the deal’s rejection, she will face pressure to step aside very soon, and let a new Conservative leader take over negotiations with the EU.

The 737 MAX is the newest generation of Boeing’s most popular airliner, yet is costing them and airlines millions as they sit grounded.

Grounding the Boeing 737 Max is hitting airlines in the U.S. and across the sea.   Europe’s largest tour company, Germany’s TUI, said Friday that its 2019 earnings would be greatly reduced because those planes are now grounded.   The company operates 15 of the grounded Boeing aircraft, which make up 10% of its total fleet, and it was expecting another eight of the jets to be delivered by the end of May.

TUI said grounding the 737 Max has forced it to lease new aircraft and extend the leases on others. It needs to know “within weeks” when flights will resume otherwise profits could take an additional hit of $112 million, the company added.

The profit warning is the latest example of the mounting financial cost to Boeing’s customers of the decision to ground all 737 Max planes following two deadly crashes in five months.

Southwest Airlines warned earlier this week that the 737 Max groundings are hurting its ticket sales.

The carrier said the number of seats it can sell this quarter will be much lower than previously expected because it isn’t flying as many planes. It said it’s canceled 2,800 flights because of the 737 issue.

Southwest has more 737 Max planes than any other US airline.  American Airlines and United Airlines also have the planes in their fleets.

Boeing unveiled an overhaul to a software system and additional pilot training for the 737 Max on Wednesday.

Aviation authorities have fingered the software system as a leading factor in a Lion Air crash last October. Investigators have drawn similarities between flight data from that crash and the Ethiopian Airlines crash this month.

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