How many have paid Obamacare premiums?

How many have paid Obamacare premiums?

The Obama administration made its sixth update of the year on Obamacare enrollment Monday — without ever revealing how many customers have paid.

A blog post from Marilyn Tavenner, director of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, boasts 5 million sign-ups so far. The administration has updated the enrollment tally twice a month since millions of customers were required to pay their premiums, but officials have declined yet again to disclose payment information.

Monday’s unscheduled update revealed that the administration can now count 5 million selected plans on Obamacare exchanges across the country — 1 million in California alone. It’s a desperately needed coup for the administration, which is two weeks away from the final enrollment deadline.

But like Tavenner’s other surprise enrollment updates, the blog post is devoid of details or statistics. Instead, it’s chock full of stories about those who were so happy to receive Obamacare that they cried.

Official monthly enrollment announcements merit a conference call with media and a formal state breakdown from the Department of Health and Human Services. But detailed demographic information wasn’t released until mid-January — over halfway through the open enrollment period.

The late release emphasized the administration’s failure to enroll nearly enough of its key demographic, healthy people aged 18 to 35. Through February’s end, Obamacare exchange customers were only 25 percent “young invincibles” — leaving very little time to meet the administration’s prior minimum target of 39 percent.

As of January, customers that paid have been using their Obamacare insurance. But the Obama administration continues to say it doesn’t know how many have paid their premiums.

The best estimates come from consulting firms’ studies of data from insurance companies. Goldman Sachs’ latest indicates that 80 percent of the number the White House has advertised will follow through and purchase their coverage; McKinsey estimates only 77 percent. Such a record would bring that 5 million down to 3.85-4 million instead.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/17/how-many-have-paid-obamacare-premiums/#ixzz2wGUBcIkB

US, UK ‘Enemies of the Internet’ for first time

US, UK 'Enemies of the Internet' for first time

The United Kingdom and the US have been branded ‘Enemies of the Internet’ for the first time by Reporters Without Borders on their annual list of countries which disrupt freedom of information through surveillance and censorship.

Both the US and the UK were included in the list for first time as a result of revelations from the Whistleblower Edward Snowden into the activities of the American and British spy agencies.

In fact Edward Snowden branded the UK, where the government has largely ignored calls to reign in the nation’s spooks and the public remain apathetic, as “worse than the US”.

Snowden outlines various “widespread surveillance practices” operated by GCHQ as part of its plan called “Mastering the internet”.

“The Internet was a collective resource that the NSA and GCHQ turned into a weapon in the service of special interests, in the process flouting freedom of information, freedom of expression and the right to privacy,” say the report’s authors.

The UK, says the press watchdog, paid scant heed to any legal considerations when harvesting huge amounts of data.

“Supported by the NSA and with the prospect of sharing data, the British agency brushed aside all legal obstacles and embarked on mass surveillance of nearly a quarter of the world’s communications,” the report says.

The authors go on to note that the UK is in a unique global position to scoop up internet traffic because many of the landing points of global cables down which internet information travels land on British soil.

“The best known is at Bude in Cornwall, which hosts seven cables including Apollo North which links the UK and the United States, and more particularly TAT-14, which connects the United States and Europe – which US diplomatic cables have called an “essential resource”.”

This means that GCHQ can eavesdrop on exchanges between citizens in Europe and people in the US.

The report also blasts Britain for “confusing journalism and terrorism”, and criticizes the UK government for putting excessive pressure on the Guardian newspaper “to suppress the scandal of the GCHQ wiretaps” and of wrongfully arresting David Miranda.

Miranda was the partner of former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald and was stopped and held for the maximum permitted nine hours under anti-terrorism laws by UK authorities on his way through London Heathrow airport carrying what were deemed sensitive encrypted documents from US film maker Laura Poitras in Berlin.

While Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger was hauled up in front of a committee of MPs and peers and grilled about his papers role in publishing the Snowden revelations. There were also calls from some members of the right wing establishment for him to be investigated by the police and prosecuted although this was quickly dropped when it became clear there was no case against the newspaper.

Reporters Without Borders make it quite clear that in most cases it is not actually governments that are to blame, but much smaller government units, such as the Operations and Analysis Centre in Belarus and GCHQ in the UK.

The fact that countries such as the UK, US and India – another new addition on the list – are now in the same boat as authoritarian regimes such as North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabiya and Belarus is cause for considerable concern. Russia’s FSB is also on the list as an agency that has gone beyond its core duty of national security. While China is also labeled as “an expert in information control” even since it created “the Electronic Great Wall”.

“The mass surveillance methods employed in these three countries, many of them exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, are all the more intolerable because they will be used and indeed are already being used by authoritarians countries such as Iran, China, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain,” states the report.

“How will so-called democratic countries be able to press for the protection of journalists if they adopt the very practices they are criticizing authoritarian regimes for?” the authors add.

The study also notes that the activities of the Enemies of the Internet would not be possible without the tools developed by private sector companies and that here the contradictory behavior of the western democracies should be noted.

One of the major forums or trade fairs specializing in this technology was recently hosted by France despite the French government’s vocal criticism of the activities of the NSA.

Reporters without Borders urged the EU, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012, to guarantee unrestricted internet access and digital freedoms in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The report concludes by recommending that international bodies such as the United Nations be pressed to protect internet data and regulate surveillance. It also says that journalists and other information providers should learn how to protect their data and communications.

Obamacare Has Been a 90 Percent Failure Using the Obama Regime’s Own Numbers

Obamacare Has Been a 90 Percent Failure Using the Obama Regime’s Own Numbers

According to the Obama government’s own latest numbers, 4.2 million Americans have signed up for Obamacare. And while the Obama regime twists and spins the number as being a great accomplishment, and with the looming deadline to sign up less than two weeks away, just how successful is the number?

Obama said in August of 2009 that there were 46 million uninsured, telling the nation, “I don’t have to explain to you that nearly 46 million Americans don’t have health insurance coverage today. In the wealthiest nation on Earth, 46 million of our fellow citizens have no coverage.”

According to Joseph Curl, writing in The Washington Times, Obama spouted the number as being factual over a dozen times, including in June of 2013, when he tried to guilt the nation into accepting Obamacare by goading, “We are not a nation that accepts nearly 46 million uninsured men, women and children.”

Given that the stated goal of Obamacare is to provide health insurance to the uninsured who were in a state of “crisis,” gauging the success of the operation demands that it be judged based upon that goal. Using Obama’s number of 46 million (he wouldn’t lie about that number, would he?), and using the regime’s latest enrollment number of 4.2 million, it means that less than 10% of the uninsured have actually signed up.

Generously disregarding the fact that the regime doesn’t actually know how many of those enrolled have actually paid for their insurance, or that a reported 5 million have had their policies cancelled because of Obamacare, that’s over a 90% failure. And a 90% failure is a failure by anyone’s yardstick.

The EU’s Stunning Hypocrisy on Crimea

The EU’s Stunning Hypocrisy on Crimea

Institution that ignores its own citizens’ referendums decries Crimea vote as undemocratic

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
March 17, 2014

The European Union’s characterization of the Crimean vote to join Russia as “undemocratic” is laced with stunning hypocrisy given that the EU ignored its own citizens when they rejected the European Constitution on numerous occasions.

Following yesterday’s referendum in which people in the black sea peninsula voted 97% in favor of becoming part of the Russian federation, the EU responded by slapping sanctions on 21 Russian and Ukrainian officials, declaring the referendum to be “illegal”.

That’s standard operating procedure for the European Union, which habitually denigrates the will of its own people by ignoring popular votes and referendums if it doesn’t like the result.

When voters in both France and the Netherlands rejected the EU Constitution in 2005, instead of accepting the outcome, the European Union simply re-named the Constitution and re-introduced it as the Lisbon Treaty, forcing Europeans to vote once again.

Even when Irish voters rejected the Lisbon Treaty in 2008, the EU simply changed the rules which mandated that the treaty could only be passed with a unanimous vote from all member states and passed it anyway, flying in the face of any notion of democracy.

In brazenly declaring that the EU would ignore referendums, Giscard d’Estaing even went on record to admit that the Lisbon Treaty “had been carefully crafted to confuse the public.”

By denouncing Crimea’s vote as undemocratic and illegal, the EU is displaying its usual brand of jaw-dropping hypocrisy. This is an institution that has repeatedly violated the democratic will of its own citizens by holding recurring referendums until Europeans simply gave in and accepted the result the bureaucratic parasites in Brussels were pushing for all along.

The United States and the EU’s denunciation of the Crimean vote is also beyond a joke when one considers the fact that the initial Euromaidan uprising, which led to the violent overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected government, was bankrolled by the United States itself via the State Department in concert with groups such as the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy.

Perhaps if Russia had simply followed the west’s example by staging a violent and bloody coup to overthrow Crimean authorities and relied on extremist intimidation tactics to install pro-Moscow leaders with no democratic vote whatsoever, then would the likes of William Hague, John Kerry and Catherine Ashton have been satisfied?

ATF Raids Gun Parts Store and Seizes Customer Data

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided a gun parts manufacturer over the weekend after a federal judge overturned a restraining order preventing the raid.

ATF agents equipped with M4s and plate armor conducted the raid on Ares Armor in National City, Cali. in order to seize the manufacturer’s customer data with the help of a local locksmith who cracked the safe inside the store.

The company’s owner, Dimitrios Karras, said that the ATF targeted his company under the false claim that Ares Armor was making AR-15 lower receivers, which are classified as a firearm, and then reverting them back to unfinished receivers not classified as firearms according to the law.

Even though the ATF was informed of their mistake, according to Karras, the agency proceeded with the raid anyway in order to gain access to private customer information as well as seize the company’s inventory of unfinished receivers, known as 80% receivers.

“They said either give us these 5,000 names or we’re coming in and we’re pretty much taking everything, which is a huge, huge privacy concern and something we are not willing to do,” he added.

Last week, Ares Armor successfully filed a temporary restraining order to prevent the ATF from raiding the business, but Judge Janis L. Sammartino later allowed the agency to proceed.

The ATF also raided EP Armory last week for the exact same reasons.

“We have to wonder if this raid wasn’t as much an attempt to send a message to 80% lower customers as it was a raid for user data,” Bob Owens, the editor of BearingArms.com, wrote. “Perhaps they’re attempting to scare people away from buying from these companies, so that they go out of business.”

That’s a reasonable conclusion, considering that the ATF proceeded with the raid even though the agency was in the wrong.

And it isn’t the first time a government agency has acted against a firearm accessory supplier during the Obama Administration.

Back in December, a lead smelter in Herculaneium, Mo., which had operated since 1892, closed its doors due to heightened EPA regulations.

Because the plant was the “the only smelter in the United States which can produce lead bullion from raw lead ore,” according to the NRA-ILA, lead for traditional ammunition is now likely imported, which means higher prices for ammo.

And in the past few years, various federal agencies have been stockpiling a massive amount of ammunition, estimated at over two billion rounds, which has contributed to ammo shortages across the country.

All of this is simply backdoor gun control.

This article was posted: Monday, March 17, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Boeing 777 hijackers plunged to 5,000ft and used low altitude ‘terrain masking’ manoeuvre practised by fighter jets to avoid radar detection

Boeing 777 hijackers plunged to 5,000ft and used low altitude 'terrain masking' manoeuvre practised by fighter jets to avoid radar detection

Boeing 777 may have ‘dropped to altitude as low as 5,000ft’
It had flown at 45,000ft, before possibly going down quickly
Aviation experts say passengers would have felt it plunging
Villagers in the north-east of Malaysia say they saw bright lights

By Richard Shears

PUBLISHED: 06:43 EST, 17 March 2014 | UPDATED: 11:19 EST, 17 March 2014

Claims today that the missing Malaysian Airlines jet dropped to an altitude of 5,000ft to avoid radar lends credibility to reports by villagers that they saw bright lights and loud noises at about the time the aircraft is thought to have made a ‘U-turn’.

Investigators told a Malaysian newspaper that the Boeing 777 had dropped to a lower altitude to avoid ground radar, using the surrounding terrain as a sonar barrier.

This type of flying is considered to be dangerous and risky, because it places tremendous pressure on the frame of the aircraft – and flying low at night without radar assistance could lead to the plane crashing into trees or mountains.

Enlarge
‘Terrain masking’, as illustrated here, is a technique used by pilots to avoid radar detection

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‘Terrain masking’, as illustrated here, is a technique used by pilots to avoid radar detection

Experts have claimed the Boeing 777-200ER dropped 5,000ft (1,500m) to evade commercial radar detection

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Experts have claimed the Boeing 777-200ER dropped 5,000ft (1,500m) to evade commercial radar detection

Investigators told the New Straits Times that they were now convinced the aircraft flow low over Kelantan, which is in the north east – exactly the same area where the villagers and fishermen who saw bright lights in the sky on the night the jet vanished are living.

At least nine people – fishermen, farmers and villagers – have made reports to police about seeing lights in the sky and some said they heard the loud noise of an engine.

These accounts appear to match the conclusions of investigators who say the jet flew low after making a sharp turn and heading west from its course over the South China Sea.

More…
Two MILLION square miles to be searched, 26 countries involved – and still not a trace of Flight MH370: hunt for the missing plane stretches from Kazakhstan to Southern Ocean
China loses patience with Malaysia over hunt for missing flight MH370 and warns it must ‘immediately’ step up the operation
Malaysian officials reveal it was missing jet’s CO-PILOT – not the captain – who said calm ‘good night’ to air traffic control AFTER tracking equipment was disabled
Missing plane: Now police probe whether passenger who was flight engineer for private jet firm was involved in hijacking

The first report of a ‘bright light descending at high speed’ came from Alif Fathi Abdul Hadi, 29, who said he saw the light heading towards the South China Sea at 1.45am on the night the aircraft disappeared.

The businessman lives in Kampung Kadok, in the far north west of the Malaysian mainland, close to the southern border of Thailand – and the light he witnessed would have been several miles to the north of the flight path the jet was on before it vanished.

Lending credibility to the account by Mr Alif is the claim by fisherman Azid Ibrahim, 55, who saw a bright light streaking overhead at 1.30am on Saturday, about 100 miles south of where Mr Alif had seen the light.

Passengers look at a ‘digital earth’ displayed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang

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Passengers look at a ‘digital earth’ displayed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang

Anxious wait: Erny Khairul, whose husband Mohd Khairul Amri Selamat was onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, kisses her daughter inside a hotel they are staying at in Putrajaya

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Anxious wait: Erny Khairul, whose husband Mohd Khairul Amri Selamat was onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, kisses her daughter inside a hotel they are staying at in Putrajaya

Mr Alif told the New Straits Times that the bright light was the type that aircraft use when taking off and landing at night – like a car uses its headlights.

‘I was walking towards the rear of my house when I saw the light, and wondered where it was heading to,’ he said. ‘The airspace here is like a highway for aircraft and they usually travel in routine patterns.

‘However, the light I saw was moving towards a completely different direction. It was going towards the sea, near Bachok (which lies to the south of Mr Alif’s home).’

His description tends to indicate that if the light he saw was on the doomed aircraft, it had turned north instead of continuing on its regular north-easterly flight path.

Mr Alif said the aircraft he usually sees fly across the sky for as far as his eyes could see but the light he saw in the early hours of Saturday vaished from view behind a line of coconut trees.

A man stands in front of a board with messages of hope and support for the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 at the departure hall of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport

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A man stands in front of a board with messages of hope and support for the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 at the departure hall of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport

An artwork by Malaysian artist Safirah Rashid is seen at the Wall of Hope for the passengers of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

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An artwork by Malaysian artist Safirah Rashid is seen at the Wall of Hope for the passengers of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

While he thought nothing of it at the time, when he learned about the missing aircraft MH370 the following day he lodged a report with police.

Mr Alif’s account tended to coincide with that of fisherman Mr Azid who told the New Straits Times: ‘Usually, lights from an airplane look like distant stars at night but the one that I saw was big, as the aircraft was flying below the clouds.

‘I followed the light for about five minutes before it disappeared.’

Meanwhile, researchers from Slade.com have pinpointed 634 runways where the place could have landed in the vast area now being searched.

Researchers from Slade.com have pinpointed 634 runways where the place could have landed

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Researchers from Slade.com have pinpointed 634 runways where the place could have landed

It comes after the revelation that the last words from the cockpit of missing MH370 – ‘all right, good night’ – were uttered after someone on board had already begun disabling one of the plane’s automatic tracking systems.

Both the timing and informal nature of the phrase, spoken to air traffic controllers as the plane was leaving Malaysian-run airspace could further heighten suspicions of hijacking or sabotage, it was reported.

The sign-off came after one of the plane’s data communication systems, which would have enabled it to be tracked beyond radar coverage, had been deliberately switched off, Malaysia said yesterday.

Following Mr Alif’s account, nine more peopled filed police reports about a low-flying aircraft in the north east, close to the border with Thailand.

Passengers rest in their seats as a cabin crew member serves snacks onboard Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER flight MH318 shortly after take off

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Passengers rest in their seats as a cabin crew member serves snacks onboard Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER flight MH318 shortly after take off

Malaysia Airlines flight number MH318 replaces the flight number of the missing airplane, MH370, that was retired as a mark of respect to the passengers and crew while the flight route remains unchanged

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Malaysia Airlines flight number MH318 replaces the flight number of the missing airplane, MH370, that was retired as a mark of respect to the passengers and crew while the flight route remains unchanged

A screen on board Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER flight MH318 shows the plane’s flight path as it cruises over the South China Sea from Kuala Lumpur towards Beijing

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A screen on board Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER flight MH318 shows the plane’s flight path as it cruises over the South China Sea from Kuala Lumpur towards Beijing

Deputy police commander Dak Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said the eyewitnesses had reported that they saw an aircraft heading north at about the time all civilian tracking data was lost with flight MH370 in the early hours of last Saturday.

Reports came in from people living in north east towns that include Kuala Besar, Pentai Cahaya Bulan, Pentai Senok and Penarik.

‘Based on the reports, the plane, the plane was sighted between 1.30am and 1.45am,’ said commander Jalaluddin.

Reuters photographer Edgar Su boarded the flight in Kuala Lumpur on March 17 and documented the journey to Beijing

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Reuters photographer Edgar Su boarded the flight in Kuala Lumpur on March 17 and documented the journey to Beijing

Passengers rest in their seats onboard Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER flight MH318

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Passengers rest in their seats onboard Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER flight MH318

The police officer added that a bus driver said he saw a low-flying plane at Penarik at about 1.45am, around the time communication with the jet was lost.

‘The driver was sure that he saw the aircraft’s blinking beacon lights,’ said the police commander.
Meanwhile, said commander Jalaluddin, eight villagers from the Marang area lodged reports with police claiming they heard a loud noise on Saturday night coming from the direction of Pulau Kapas.

Villager Alias Salleh, 36, said he and some friends were sitting oin a bench about 400 yards from the Marang beach at 1.20am when they heard ‘a loud and frightening noise which sounded like the fan of a jet engine.’

He said the noise came from the north east of Pulau Kapas.

Mr Alias told The Star newspaper last week that he and his friends looked around the Rhu Muda beach area but they did not see anything unusual.

Today the number of countries involved in the search for the plane has nearly doubled over the past two days to 26, after satellite and military radar data projected two large corridors the plane might have flown through.

It was announced this morning that Kazakhstan – located in the far northwest of the search area – has joined the operation.

The northern corridor stretches in an arc over south and central Asia, while the other swoops deep into the southern Indian Ocean towards Australia.

Malaysia has announced that it was deploying its naval and air force assets to the southern corridor, with Australian vowing substantial assistance.

Some experts believe the plane is most likely to have flown southwest towards the Indian Ocean, as the northwesterly route would have taken it through numerous national airspaces in an area monitored extensively by satellites.

AN UNPRECIDENTED HUNT: LATEST ON THE SEARCH FOR MH370

The unprecedented hunt for a missing Malaysia Airlines jet expanded northwest to Kazakhstan and south into the desolate reaches of the Indian Ocean after Malaysian authorities concluded the plane was deliberately diverted by someone with considerable flying experience.

A summary of the latest information on the search for the plane and the investigation into what happened:

LAST COMMUNICATIONS

The Boeing 777′s Aircraft and Communications Addressing and Reporting System, or ACARS, last transmitted at 1:07 a.m., about 40 minutes after takeoff. ACARS sends information about the jet’s engines and other data to the airline. The transponder, which identifies the plane to commercial radar systems, was shut down about 15 minutes later.

The final, reassuring words from the cockpit – ‘All right, good night’ – were believed to have been spoken by co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, according to Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

After its communications ceased, the plane turned west and crossed the Malay Peninsula. Military radar detected it moving along a known flight route until it was several hundred miles (kilometers) offshore.

Even disabled, ACARS emits hourly pulses that are recorded by a satellite, and Flight 370′s last ‘ping’ was sent at 8:11 a.m. The location of the plane could only be determined in a broad arc from the satellite, which places the jet as far north as Kazakhstan in Central Asia or far into the southern Indian Ocean. The plane at that point would have been near the limit of its on-board fuel supply.

THE GEOGRAPHY

Malaysia’s government sent diplomatic cables to relevant countries to seek their help with the search and ask for any radar data that might help narrow the task. Twenty-six countries are involved in the search.

The northern search corridor includes countries with busy airspace that likely would have noticed an unidentified aircraft in their territory. China, India and Pakistan are among the nations that say they have seen no sign of the plane.

Australia is leading the search efforts in the southern Indian Ocean. It has sent two AP-3C Orion aircraft, one of which is searching north and west of the Cocos Islands. Two more search aircraft will be deployed by Tuesday.

The southern Indian Ocean is the world’s third-deepest and one of the most remote stretches of water in the world, with little radar coverage. Experts say if the plane crashed there, finding the wreckage could take months or longer, if it is found at all. Establishing what happened with any degree of certainty will require evidence from cockpit voice recordings and the flight-data recorders, which are on board the plane.

THE SUSPICIONS

The investigation is focusing on the plane being deliberately diverted by the pilots or someone on board with considerable flying experience. Police seized a flight simulator from the pilot’s home on Saturday and also searched the co-pilot’s home. Investigators are checking backgrounds of all 227 passengers and 12 crew members, as well as the ground crew, to see if links to terrorists, personal problems or psychological issues could be factors. But authorities are being tight-lipped about what they’ve learned so far.

THE UNKNOWN

The whereabouts of the plane is only one question still unanswered. The investigators are also considering: If the two pilots were involved in the disappearance, were they working together or alone, or with one or more of the passengers or crew? Did they fly the plane under duress or of their own will? Did one or more of the passengers manage to break into the cockpit or use the threat of violence to gain entry and then seize the plane? And what possible motive could there be for diverting the jet?
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Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2582595/Boeing-777-hijackers-plunged-5-000ft-used-low-altitude-terrain-masking-manoeuvre-practised-fighter-jets-avoid-radar-detection.html#ixzz2wF1Gk6Ir
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