‘Something serious happened:’ Princess Cruises confirms death of female passenger

A puzzled passenger who was apparently aboard The Royal Princess wrote a cryptic post Tuesday on cruise community website Cruise Critic.com.

The 19-deck ship had departed Nov. 9 from Port Everglades on a seven-day Southern Caribbean cruise and is set to return to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday.

“Last night something serious happened on Royal Princess,” read the post. “At 4:30 am there was a ship wide security announcement broadcast directly into the cabins. Security personnel was told to gather on deck 7. Another announcement was made shortly after that only broadcast in the halls and common areas.”

The cruiser continues to report that as the 3,600-passenger ship docked in Aruba the captain announced that there had been “a serious incident and no one could leave as local authorities were coming onboard.”

The passenger was apparently confused over what had transpired, but more details are trickling out about the “serious incident.”

The Santa Clarita, California-based cruise line confirmed the death of a 52-year-old American passenger in a statement. According to the Associated Press, the FBI and Aruban authorities are currently investigating.

Aruba news website Diario reports the woman plunged from an upper deck onto a lifeboat after struggling with a “muscular” man who was seen choking her before the fall.

“We are deeply saddened by this incident and offer our sincere condolences to the family and those affected,” the cruise line continued. “An official cause of death has not been announced.”

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US crude posts 6th straight weekly loss, settling at $56.46, down 6.2% this week

Morgan Stanley warned that a cut by the Middle East-dominated group might not have the desired effect.

“The main oil price benchmarks – Brent and WTI – are both light-sweet crudes and reflect this glut,” the U.S. bank said.

“OPEC production cuts are usually implemented by removing medium and heavier barrels from the market but that does not address the oversupply of light-sweet.”

OPEC’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, wants the cartel to cut output by about 1.4 million bpd, around 1.5 percent of global supply, sources told Reuters this week.

The Saudis would like Russia to cut output but Moscow has yet to commit to joint action.

Iraq resumed exporting oil from its northern Kirkuk oilfields on Friday, pumping 50,000-100,000 bpd, an oil ministry spokesman told Reuters. Some analysts had expected the volumes to be much higher, at closer to 300,000 bpd.

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Virginia Dunkin’ Donuts owner calls police on black customer for using free Wi-Fi without purchase

Video footage of a now-viral interaction between a black customer and a white store manager at a Virginia Dunkin’ Donuts has sparked outcry and heated debate online, after franchise owner Christina Cabral called police on patron Tirza Wilbon White for allegedly using the store’s Wi-Fi without making a purchase.

“I had just sat down when a woman I had never seen before walked up and asked, ‘Are you going to buy coffee?’” White told Yahoo Lifestyle of the Nov. 7 incident, which occurred at one of the Fairfax locations of the coffee and pastry chain. “I told her I planned on buying coffee after I got settled, but not if it were mandated.”

According to Yahoo, White then asked the woman, whom the outlet identifies as Cabral, if a white customer would be held to that same standard, prompting Cabral to say that White must make a purchase or leave.

PIZZA-SPITTER AT DETROIT’S COMERICA PARK SENTENCED TO PROBATION

In a series of three videos posted to Facebook on Nov. 8, White shares the conversation she had with Cabral, as well as the subsequent dialogue she had with the male police officer who responded to the scene.

“You’re under the Dunkin umbrella, I just looked this up, it is free Wi-Fi in Dunkin Donuts,” White begins in the clip that has since been viewed over 32,000 times.

“But as franchisee I have the right to offer you free Internet or not,” Cabral said

“Do you have a business card? I’m gonna contact corporate,” White responded

“You don’t need my business card to do that with,” Cabral argues. “I get to make my own rules. … I need to ensure safety to my customers,” she continued. “It’s nothing against you,” she says, citing previous issues with customers. “We’re just trying to make our customers feel safe.”

In the second and third videos shared to social media, the law enforcement official tells White to leave the store “because she wants you to.”

“Am I in trouble if I choose not to leave?” White asks.

“Yeah, if you choose not to leave, I will order you to leave. … I would issue you a summons and then if you don’t sign the summons, then I would have to arrest you,” he says.

Taken aback, White ultimately leaves the scene, and later voiced her frustrations on Facebook.

“A franchise owner attempted to bully me. She lied about corporate policy, attempted to force me to make a purchase to be in the store because she has a loitering problem. She called the police to force me to leave when I told her she was profiling the gentleman and me. In her mind I was the ‘people’ who loiter. In reality, I was a customer in her store, until yesterday, and I have been for more than 2 years,” she wrote.

“I am still angry, more than 24 hours later, and I want justice for the humiliation I experienced.”

Soon after, White reported that two reps for Dunkin’ Donuts had personally called her to apologize, as per Yahoo.

Meanwhile, reps for the Massachusetts-headquartered coffee chain Dunkin returned Fox News’ request for comment with the following statement:

“We and our franchisees want every customer who walks into a Dunkin’ restaurant to be treated with dignity and respect. This did not happen in a situation at a restaurant in Fairfax, Virginia. We have apologized to the customer, on behalf of both the brand and the franchisee who owns and operates this restaurant, but we know that is not enough,” a spokesperson said.

“Our franchisees are independent businesspeople, who so long as they comply with the law, may set their own policies in regards to certain things like Wi-Fi usage and whether to limit its use to only those who make a purchase,” they added. “However, we are focused on helping our franchisees best serve our diverse customer base and are currently exploring how we can improve every aspect of our restaurant operations from store signage, recommended policies, and training for franchisees and their crew members. We are committed to doing better.”

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FOX LIFESTYLE NEWS

Facebook commenters reacted to the news with mixed opinions.

“Really? All of this because you want to seat in her restaurant, taking up a table, not buy a .80 cent cup of coffee and use their wi-fi. I am sorry, but you are in the wrong. Even tho they have ‘free’ wi-fi, it is common sense, and called being an adult to understand that if you want to seat in a table, use their wi-fi, just buy a cup of coffee. Nothing to do with skin color or race,” one said.

“Is there a homeless situation in the area? Purchasing something could be a policy because of loitering,” another weighed in.

“As an owner of a business that deals with the general public Cabral should be better at conflict resolution and not be so confrontational. She could have handled this so much better. It would have been better to wait and see if she was a customer or a loiterer and then address it if needed. Smart business sense would be to consider what revenue your business could lose in the long run. How much is wi-fi costing her per customer really, c’mon,” one chimed in. “If Cabral’s herself believed her intentions were warranted then she wouldn’t have lied about her position being Q&A. These white women need to realize there are people having real problems and not waste the time of law enforcement with petty issues.”

“If you refuse to purchase in any store or establishment you can be ask[ed] to leave by the police. They are a business. Free is not FREE that is the ladys [sic] interpretation. AND no the law does not [require] police to be posted. That is why the cop backed the franchisee,” another offered.

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What the Lion Air Pilots May Have Needed To Do to Avoid a Crash

Investigators and experts are uncertain why Lion Air Flight 610 plummeted into the Java Sea last month, killing all 189 people on board. But they are focusing on an automatic system designed to keep the plane, a Boeing 737 Max 8, from going into a “stall” condition.

A stall can occur when the plane’s nose points upward at too great an angle, robbing the craft of the aerodynamic lift that allows it to stay aloft. But if the 737 receives incorrect data on the angle – as the same plane did on the flight just before the crash – the system designed to save the plane can instead force the nose down, potentially sending it into a fatal dive.

The situation in this case is further complicated by Boeing’s installation of the system, which the company did without explaining it in the new model’s operating manual. So the pilots might well have been unfamiliar with it.

If the pilots of Lion Air 610 did in fact confront an emergency with this type of anti-stall system, they would have had to take a rapid series of complex steps to understand what was happening and keep the jetliner flying properly. These steps were not in the manual, and the pilots had not been trained in them.

Approximate data on the plane’s speed and altitude on the 11 minutes it spent in the air suggest that the first indication of trouble may have come just above 2,000 feet, when its trajectory was beginning to level off.

The 11 minute

climb and descent

of Lion Air Flight 610

Possible first indication

of trouble

The 11 minute

climb and descent

of Lion Air Flight 610

Possible first indication

of trouble

The 11 minute

climb and descent

of Lion Air Flight 610

Possible first

indication

of trouble

The 11 minute

climb and descent

of Lion Air Flight 610

Possible first

indication

of trouble

The 11 minute

climb and descent

of Lion Air Flight 610

Possible first indication

of trouble

The New York Times | Source: Flightradar24

At that point, said John Cox, the former executive chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association and now a safety consultant, something unexpected occurred: instead of leveling off momentarily, the plane’s altitude dropped around 600 feet. “This may have been the onset, the first time something happened,” Mr. Cox said.

By this point in the flight, the pilots typically would have moved the flaps on the main wings from the down position needed for takeoff into a trimmed up position for flying at higher speeds. The Boeing anti-stall system cannot activate until the flaps are up.

After the 600-foot drop, the pilots climbed to 5,000 feet, possibly to give themselves more maneuvering room if another unexpected dive occurred. They sought and received permission to return to the airport, but for reasons not yet known, they did not appear to have tried to do so. When the plane leveled off just above 5,000 feet, there was another indication that something was amiss: instead of the smooth, straight flight that the usual autopilot setting would produce, the plane pitched up and down, indicating manual operation.

Altitude of

Lion Air Flight 610

Pilot appears to

be struggling with

manual control

Altitude of

Lion Air Flight 610

Pilot appears to

be struggling with

manual control

Altitude of Lion Air Flight 610

Pilot appears to

be struggling with

manual control

Altitude of Lion Air Flight 610

Pilot appears to

be struggling with

manual control

Altitude of

Lion Air Flight 610

Pilot appears to

be struggling with

manual control

The New York Times | Source: Flightradar24

That could indicate that the pilot simply was not very good at flying in manual mode. More likely, said Les Westbrooks, an associate professor at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, the pilot already was struggling with some system causing the plane to veer from its straight path.

In that case, Mr. Westbrooks said, it would be like trying to drive a car that is tugging one way or another – the driver can counteract it, but the path is jagged. The plane’s up-and-down motion continued, including a larger dip and recovery of about 1,000 feet in the last few minutes of the flight that might have felt like a bit of rough turbulence to passengers, said R. John Hansman Jr., a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and director of the international center for air transportation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Then, suddenly, the plane went down.

Altitude of

Lion Air Flight 610

Altitude of

Lion Air Flight 610

Altitude of Lion Air Flight 610

Altitude of Lion Air Flight 610

Altitude of

Lion Air Flight 610

The New York Times | Source: Flightradar24

There has been no official finding that the anti-stall system – known as the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system, or M.C.A.S. – was activated. But if the 737’s sensors were indicating erroneously that the nose had pitched dangerously up, the pilot’s first warning might have been a “stick shaker:” the yoke – the steering wheel-like handles in front of the pilot and co-pilot – would vibrate.

If the false warning in turn activated the automatic anti-stall system, the pilots would have had to take a series of rapid and not necessarily intuitive steps to maintain control – a particular challenge since those steps were not in the plane’s operating manual and the pilots had not been trained on how to respond.

If it sensed a stall, the system would have automatically pushed up the forward edge of the stabilizers, the larger of the horizontal surfaces on the plane’s tail section, in order to put downward pressure on the nose.

To counter the nose-down movement, the pilot’s natural reaction would probably have been to use his yoke, which moves the other, smaller surfaces on the plane’s tail, the elevators. But trying that maneuver might well have wasted precious time without solving the problem because the downward force on the nose exerted by the stabilizer is greater than the opposite force the pilot would be trying to exert through the elevator, said Pat Anderson, a professor of aerospace engineering at Embry Riddle.

“After a period of time, the elevator is going to lose, and the stabilizer is going to win,” he said.

The M.C.A.S system angles the

stabilizer, pushing the tail up.

As a result, the

nose goes down.

The M.C.A.S system

angles the stabilizer,

pushing the tail up.

As a result, the

nose goes down.

The M.C.A.S system

angles the stabilizer,

pushing the tail up.

As a result, the

nose goes down.

The New York Times

With only fragmentary data available, Mr. Hansman said he suspects that a runaway of the M.C.A.S. system played a central role in the crash. “The system basically overrode the pilot in that situation,” Mr. Hansman said.

If the anti-stall system indeed ran away with the stabilizer control, only a fast sequence of steps by the pilot and first officer could have saved the aircraft, instructions later issued by Boeing show.

On the outside of the yoke in front of both the pilot and the first officer, there is a switch for electrically controlling the trim – the angle of the stabilizers. If the pilot understood what was happening, he could have used that switch for a few seconds at a time to counteract what the M.C.A.S. was doing to the stabilizers. But that would have been only a temporary solution: the pilot has to release the switch or the nose could go too high. But if he releases the switch, the anti-stall system would reactivate a few seconds later, according to a bulletin issued by Boeing.

Electric

stabilizer

trim switch

1. Use thumb on this

switch to temporarily

counteract the automatic

stabilizer movement.

Electric

stabilizer

trim switch

1. Use thumb on this

switch to temporarily

counteract the automatic

stabilizer movement.

Electric

stabilizer

trim switch

1. Use thumb on this

switch to temporarily

counteract the automatic

stabilizer movement.

The New York Times

The crucial step, according to the Boeing bulletin, would be to reach across to the central console to a pair of switches (sometimes protected with covers that must be opened), and flip the switches off. Those switches disable electric control of the motor that moves the stabilizers up and down, preventing the anti-stall system from exerting control over their position.

2. Flip the covers down

and hit the switches

to cut off electrical

power to stabilizers.

2. Flip the covers down

and hit the switches

to cut off electrical

power to stabilizers.

2. Flip the covers down

and hit the switches

to cut off electrical

power to stabilizers.

The New York Times

The final step would complete the process for giving the pilots physical control. Cables for manually operating the stabilizers run over a wheel – actually two wheels, one on either side of the console next to the ankles of the pilot and first officer. One of the pilots must rotate the wheel to pull the stabilizer back into the correct position.

3. Take manual

control of stabilizers

by cranking this wheel.

3. Take manual

control of stabilizers

by cranking this wheel.

3. Take manual

control of stabilizers

by cranking this wheel.

The New York Times

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Amazon Is Not Too Big To Fail

Getty Royalty Free

Yesterday, CNBC reported that Jeff Bezos, in an all-hands meeting earlier this month, said: “Amazon is not too big to fail…In fact, I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt. If you look at large companies, their lifespans tend to be 30-plus years, not a hundred-plus years.” He was responding to an employee asking if the CEO had learned any lessons after Sears and other big retailers recently filed for bankruptcy. 

There are a few reasons why Bezos right. As one retail investor said to me, “the nature of all retailers is to eventually go bankrupt.” It’s a cynical point of view but it reflects reality: Retail goes through cycles. Certain kinds of retailers become popular, but then they fail to adapt and their businesses decline and eventually vanish. We see that over and over again. The retailers who can change are the exceptions, not the rule.

But Amazon is now the second-largest retailer in the United States. How is it possible that a thing that big could vanish?

It’s possible that the company could lose touch with its customer, but that seems highly unlikely for Amazon. That’s the one thing it’s known for being hyperfocused on.

There’s a different scenario that’s scarily real for Amazon.

It’s well known that Amazon is not judged on its profitability. If it were, its stock price would be a small fraction of what it is now. Amazon has done an incredible job at many different things, and one of them is getting the financial markets to value the company based on its revenue growth, with the assumption that profitability will come later. Amazon explains away its low profits by saying that it uses what profit it makes to invest in new ideas and experimentation to stay ahead. So far, the market has accepted Amazon’s explanation. People I talk to say that as long as Amazon keeps growing its revenue by 20-25% per year, the market will impute future profitability to the company and the stock price will continue to rise.

For over 100 years before it went bankrupt, Sears had everything for everybody and successfully adapted to what its customers wanted. Amazon has been great about that so far. It hasn’t tried to be better at retailing than people who’ve succeeded at retail for a long time. Instead, it perfected skills that weren’t viewed as retail skills at all. Amazon hammered at logistics and technologythings that previously weren’t core value drivers of retailto offer better value to consumers. And as it developed resources internally, Amazon smartly turned some of them into businesses, like Amazon Web Services, which today makes more money than the rest of Amazon combined.

But as Amazon blows past the $200 billion revenue threshold, it gets harder to find sources of revenue that will have the impact it needs on revenue growth. You can’t, for example, double the number of Prime subscribers in the country; there aren’t enough households left to do that and the saturation is already too high. It needs to find new sectors to bring online, like it first did with books. It needs new industries, like grocery, health care, banking or automobiles, that have relatively low online penetration and the potential for conversion to online sales to sustain its revenue growth. But the thing about that is, it’s hard and it’s uncertain. Amazon has owned Whole Foods for well over a year and the conversion to online doesn’t appear to be happening, at least so far.

If Amazon doesn’t find new sources of revenue growth in other industries, its expansion will slow. And because its stock price has been so influenced by revenue growth, it won’t continue to rise. That’s key for Amazon more than for most companies because so many of its middle- and upper-level employees are incentivized by company stock. An important part of their compensation, more than for most other companies, is based on the stock price continuing to rise. If that stops happening, Amazon employees, who are already very sought after by other companies, will be more susceptible to other offers than ever before. When they start to leave, the stock price stagnation will make it hard for Amazon to replace them and the whole wheel can stop spinning in a hurry.

You may say that Amazon is too much a part of people’s daily habits for it to vanish. That’s true for a while, but when a company loses its best people, the ability to innovate goes away, too. It isn’t long before it’s overtaken.

For companies that Amazon competes against head-to-head, it has been a very tough road. Amazon’s ability to access capital cheaply without regard to profits, combined with its ability to hire the best people has enabled it to dominate industries. But Bezos is right and nothing goes on forever. The end for Amazon may be very far off—or it may not be. This year is shaping up to be a great one for the U.S. economy. But you don’t have to be as good in this kind of environment as you do when times are tougher. When the lean years come, will Amazon be able to sustain its growth? And will the financial markets be as forgiving? How long the circumstances will continue to align in Amazon’s favor is anyone’s guessbut it’s not forever.

” readability=”95.409798270893″>

Yesterday, CNBC reported that Jeff Bezos, in an all-hands meeting earlier this month, said: “Amazon is not too big to fail…In fact, I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt. If you look at large companies, their lifespans tend to be 30-plus years, not a hundred-plus years.” He was responding to an employee asking if the CEO had learned any lessons after Sears and other big retailers recently filed for bankruptcy. 

There are a few reasons why Bezos right. As one retail investor said to me, “the nature of all retailers is to eventually go bankrupt.” It’s a cynical point of view but it reflects reality: Retail goes through cycles. Certain kinds of retailers become popular, but then they fail to adapt and their businesses decline and eventually vanish. We see that over and over again. The retailers who can change are the exceptions, not the rule.

But Amazon is now the second-largest retailer in the United States. How is it possible that a thing that big could vanish?

It’s possible that the company could lose touch with its customer, but that seems highly unlikely for Amazon. That’s the one thing it’s known for being hyperfocused on.

There’s a different scenario that’s scarily real for Amazon.

It’s well known that Amazon is not judged on its profitability. If it were, its stock price would be a small fraction of what it is now. Amazon has done an incredible job at many different things, and one of them is getting the financial markets to value the company based on its revenue growth, with the assumption that profitability will come later. Amazon explains away its low profits by saying that it uses what profit it makes to invest in new ideas and experimentation to stay ahead. So far, the market has accepted Amazon’s explanation. People I talk to say that as long as Amazon keeps growing its revenue by 20-25% per year, the market will impute future profitability to the company and the stock price will continue to rise.

For over 100 years before it went bankrupt, Sears had everything for everybody and successfully adapted to what its customers wanted. Amazon has been great about that so far. It hasn’t tried to be better at retailing than people who’ve succeeded at retail for a long time. Instead, it perfected skills that weren’t viewed as retail skills at all. Amazon hammered at logistics and technologythings that previously weren’t core value drivers of retailto offer better value to consumers. And as it developed resources internally, Amazon smartly turned some of them into businesses, like Amazon Web Services, which today makes more money than the rest of Amazon combined.

But as Amazon blows past the $200 billion revenue threshold, it gets harder to find sources of revenue that will have the impact it needs on revenue growth. You can’t, for example, double the number of Prime subscribers in the country; there aren’t enough households left to do that and the saturation is already too high. It needs to find new sectors to bring online, like it first did with books. It needs new industries, like grocery, health care, banking or automobiles, that have relatively low online penetration and the potential for conversion to online sales to sustain its revenue growth. But the thing about that is, it’s hard and it’s uncertain. Amazon has owned Whole Foods for well over a year and the conversion to online doesn’t appear to be happening, at least so far.

If Amazon doesn’t find new sources of revenue growth in other industries, its expansion will slow. And because its stock price has been so influenced by revenue growth, it won’t continue to rise. That’s key for Amazon more than for most companies because so many of its middle- and upper-level employees are incentivized by company stock. An important part of their compensation, more than for most other companies, is based on the stock price continuing to rise. If that stops happening, Amazon employees, who are already very sought after by other companies, will be more susceptible to other offers than ever before. When they start to leave, the stock price stagnation will make it hard for Amazon to replace them and the whole wheel can stop spinning in a hurry.

You may say that Amazon is too much a part of people’s daily habits for it to vanish. That’s true for a while, but when a company loses its best people, the ability to innovate goes away, too. It isn’t long before it’s overtaken.

For companies that Amazon competes against head-to-head, it has been a very tough road. Amazon’s ability to access capital cheaply without regard to profits, combined with its ability to hire the best people has enabled it to dominate industries. But Bezos is right and nothing goes on forever. The end for Amazon may be very far off—or it may not be. This year is shaping up to be a great one for the U.S. economy. But you don’t have to be as good in this kind of environment as you do when times are tougher. When the lean years come, will Amazon be able to sustain its growth? And will the financial markets be as forgiving? How long the circumstances will continue to align in Amazon’s favor is anyone’s guessbut it’s not forever.

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