Briefing :- 27/05/17

Here is CurrentHow’s Briefing™ for the 27th of May, 2017 :-

1. British Airways cancels all Saturday flights from London’s Heathrow, Gatwick after IT failure :-

British Airways has cancelled all flights out of major London airports Heathrow and Gatwick for the rest of Saturday after an IT systems failure.

The airline had earlier said all flights from the two airports had been cancelled up to 6.00 pm (1700 GMT), but a spokesman later told AFP that all flights for Saturday had been grounded.

The latest IT failure comes just a few weeks after the ransomware attack which had paralysed Britain’s health services for several hours.

The airline said it had found “no evidence that it’s a cyber attack”.

“We have experienced a major IT system failure that is causing very severe disruption to our flight operations worldwide,” BA said in a statement.

“The terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick have become extremely congested and we have cancelled all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick before 6.00 pm UK time today (1700 GMT), so please do not come to the airports.”

The airline had suffered previous IT glitches, with passengers hit by severe delays in July and September last year.

Distressed passengers immediately took to Twitter expressing their discomfort, several said that they were unable to check in or use the airline’s app while others were left grounded on the tarmac.

2. Sri Lanks floods, landslides: Death toll climbs to 100 :-

The death toll from flooding and landslides in Sri Lanka climbed to 100 while the number of missing since Friday’s deluge had been revised down to 90 from 110, The official Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said Saturday.

Forty other people are in the hospital, AFP reported.

Authorities issued fresh evacuation orders for those living downstream of two major rivers, citing a risk of flooding even though the rains had subsided.

“The monsoon has firmly established and we could have evening showers at a lesser intensity”, meteorological department chief SR Jayasekera said.

The flooding is the worst since May 2003 when 250 people were killed and 10,000 homes destroyed after a similarly powerful Southwest monsoon, officials said.

Nearly 500 homes were either damaged or destroyed due to flooding as well as landslides, DMC director of operations Rear Admiral A. A. P. Liyanage told AFP.

Most of the deaths were due to mountainsides collapsing on homes after heavy overnight rain, he said.

The DMC said the monsoon ended a prolonged drought that had threatened agriculture as well as hydropower generation.

The rains have filled reservoirs used for hydroelectric projects after low supplies had raised fears of power shortages in June.

But officials said most reservoirs were now so full they were in danger of spilling over and flooding communities living downstream.

Friday’s flooding was caused by rivers bursting their banks, but unusually heavy rain triggered more than a dozen landslides burying homes on mountain slopes.

By Friday evening over 60,000 people had been driven out of their homes while nearly 500 homes had been either damaged or destroyed.

Most of the deaths have occurred due to mountainsides collapsing on homes, authorities say.

3. Ariana Grande plans charity concert to help kin of Manchester attack victims :-

Pop star Ariana Grande said Friday she is planning a charity concert in Manchester after a suicide attack on her show in the English city earlier this week killed 22 people.

In her first substantive comments since Monday’s attack claimed by the Islamic State group, Grande hailed the compassionate spirit of her fans and vowed not to give in to divisions.

The 23-year-old, who suspended her tour and returned to her Florida home after the tragedy, said she planned a concert as “an expression of love for Manchester.”

She said that the concert would raise money for the victims of the attack and their families. The date is not yet set.

“Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before,” she said in an essay posted on her social media accounts.

Grande, whose fan base is dominated by girls and young women, said she had seen a “beautiful, diverse, pure, happy crowd.”

She said that she saw her concerts as a place for her fans “to escape, to celebrate, to heal, to feel safe and to be themselves.”

“This will not change,” she said.

Grande plans to resume her “Dangerous Woman” tour in Paris on June 7. Despite the name of her tour and album, the former television child star has rarely triggered controversy.

4. US to test anti-ICBM system as North Korea threat looms :-

The US military will try to intercept an intercontinental ballistic missile in a landmark test of a defense system that comes amid broad tensions over North Korea’s weapons program, the Pentagon said Friday.

Scheduled for Tuesday, the test is the first time the military will attempt to intercept an ICBM. Previous trials have been against intermediate-range missiles, which are slower.

Experts will launch a ground-based interceptor from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California at a mock-up of an ICBM fired from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, the Missile Defense Agency said in a statement.

The exercise will check the performance of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, which has had a checkered record in previous tests.

Though it succeeded in the last test in 2014, it failed during the three prior attempts.

The technology behind the GMD is extremely complex, and the system uses globally deployed sensors to detect and track ballistic missile threats.

In a move that the Pentagon says is akin to hitting a bullet with another bullet — though at far higher speeds — the missile launches into space, then deploys an “Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicle” that uses kinetic energy to destroy the incoming target.

If the test is successful, it will prove that America has an effective ground-based defense against ICBMs, albeit on a limited scale.

The system will comprise 44 interceptors by the end of the year, so it could thwart an attack from a rogue state or a volley of rockets.

But the interceptors, based in California and Alaska, would be overwhelmed by a full-scale attack from countries like Russia or China, which could fire dozens of missiles at a time.

North Korea this year has conducted a series of missile tests as it strives to build an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States.

Pyongyang carried out two atomic tests last year, and has accelerated its missile launch program, despite tough UN sanctions aimed at denying Kim the hard currency needed to fund his weapons ambitions.

President Donald Trump has called Kim a “madman with nuclear weapons.”

5. CBSE Class 12 results to be out tomorrow; ICSE, ISC on Monday :-

India’s Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) announced that they would announce Class XII results on May 28, while the Indian Certificate for Secondary Education (ICSE) and Indian School Certificate (ISC) results will be announced at 3 pm on May 29.

CBSE results will be out before noon.

CBSE results will be declared on the following websites: results.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in, cbse.nic.in.

The Council of Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) announced the ISC, ICSE result dates on their portal on Friday night. “Results will be announced at 3 pm on Monday,” it said.

Results of both boards were delayed this time due to elections in five Indian states.

The CBSE Class XII board exams started on March 9 and carried on till April 29.

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