Tag Archives: Switzerland

Current Event Cat of the Day: Co-Pilot Hijinks

Current Event Cat - Co-pilot

Suspicious looking Muslims aren’t the only ones you have to worry about now when you fly. Co-pilots can also cause onboard hijack hijinks.

The co-pilot of an Ethiopian Airlines plane flying from Addis Ababa to Rome hijacked his own plane in an attempt to gain asylum in Switzerland. Hailemedhin Abera Tegegn, 31, took control of the aircraft when the pilot left the cockpit to take a quick leak. The co-pilot then diverted the plane to Geneva, landed, climbed out of the cockpit using a rope, and demanded political asylum.

As the plane entered Swiss airspace, Switzerland sat back and let France and Italy takeover. Because the hijacking occurred outside of business hours (8am until noon, and 1:30 to 5pm), Swiss fighter jets remained on the ground.

“Switzerland cannot intervene because its airbases are closed at night and on the weekend,” a Swiss airforce spokesman said, adding: “It’s a question of budget and staffing.”

If only the co-pilot had invaded the airspace at 4:59pm!

As a result, Switzerland relied on its neighbours, France and Italy. French and Italian jets were scrambled by NATO to escort the suspicious aircraft into Swiss airspace and land it safely.

The plane’s 200 passengers and crew all arrived in Geneva safely, albeit a little freaked out. Aware that the plane had been hijacked but unaware of any details, passengers were forced to sit through a six hour flight wondering if they were going to go down with the plane. One passenger said the hijacker threatened to crash the plane if the pilot didn’t stop pounding on the locked cockpit door.

After crawling out of the cockpit, the co-pilot turned himself in to the police and is being detained.

“Just after landing, the co-pilot came out of the cockpit and ran to the police and said, ‘I’m the hijacker.’ He said he is not safe in his own country and wants asylum,” police spokesman Pierre Grangean said.

No word yet on why he chose Switzerland as his asylum destination. The country is not exactly known for being immigrant friendly, what with the recent “Stop Mass Immigration” plan and all. But apparently 20 years in a Swiss prison is a more appealing option than spending one more minute in Ethiopia.

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The Swiss Don’t Care For Immigrants? Colour Me Surprised. And Other News…

Swiss Immigration Campaign

There are some things the Swiss like (chocolate, cheese, and watches) and other things they do not like (immigrants, immigrants, and immigrants).

On Sunday Swiss voters narrowly approved (with a 50.3 percent majority) new limits on immigration. Looks like all those nationalist groups’ campaigns instilling fears of the rising numbers of Muslims in the nation finally paid off. The “mass migration” referendum results mean the country will impose a cap on its number of foreign immigrants, including those from European Union countries which are getting sketchier by the minute – I mean, Albania is a potential candidate, c’mon! The European Commission was not pleased with the outcome of the vote, which invalidates the Swiss-EU agreement on freedom of movement, and announced it needed to take a closer look at the impact on overall relations between Switzerland and the EU. The Guardian

Copenhagen GiraffeThe Copenhagen Zoo really wanted to kill that giraffe. Despite receiving an offer of 500,000 euros, a petition with over 20,000 signatures, and offers from other zoos, the Copenhagen Zoo decided to slaughter a healthy giraffe to prevent inbreeding problems. The two-year-old male giraffe, named Marius, was killed upon the recommendation of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, who reasoned that there were already giraffes in the breeding program with similar genes. The decision sparked outrage from everyone who has a heart, but the Zoo didn’t care – the giraffe had to go. With all the outcry, you would think he would at least be put down humanely. Nope. Marius was killed with a bolt pistol and Zoo officials dissected him in front of visitors (including young children) and then fed his carcass to lions and other zoo carnivores. Global News

Dumb StarbucksI’ll take a double Dumb Frappuccino with extra whip! A Starbucks parody store, Dumb Starbucks, opened Friday in L.A. to massive lines and curious customers. Dumb Starbucks features dumb iced coffee, dumb white chocolate mocha, dumb lattes – basically everything Starbucks offers with the word dumb in front of it. The dumb store looks nearly identical to a typical Starbucks location and serves its coffees in cups that mock the company’s logo. Dumb iced coffees and lattes were handed out free of charge to promote the new business/some kind of weird art project, but customers weren’t impressed with the taste. Descriptions of the coffee ranged from “horrible” to “bitter”. While serving bad overpriced coffee out of a novelty store may seem like a good idea, Dumb Starbucks might be really dumb after all. The real Seattle coffee giant is not too pleased with their opening. “We are evaluating next steps and while we appreciate the humour, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark,” spokeswoman Laurel Harper said in an email. Dumb Starbucks insists their store is legal because it is considered parody art, but I’m pretty sure their legal theories are no match for Real Starbucks’ team of lawyers. CTV News

KissProtip: don’t makeout with your hostage. A jewelry store robber was tracked down in Paris through his DNA after he kissed a hostage out of compassion. The thief and his co-conspirator grabbed an employee of the store, tied her up in her home and forced her to reveal the codes of the alarm system and the safes in the jewelry store. Once they got the info, one man went to rob the store and the other stayed with the woman and at one point kissed her to “relieve her trauma”. Turns out that was a BIG mistake. Once she was freed, the store employee alerted the police and a DNA sample was taken from her cheek. Wait… so it wasn’t a French kiss? I guess not, but all you need is a peck on the cheek to put you away in prison. BBC News

King Hamad BahrainThe King of Bahrain is more sensitive than you think. King Hamad has ratified a new law that imposes a prison sentence of up to seven years and fine of up to $26,500 for anyone who publicly insults him, the flag, or the national emblem. Looks like King Hamad is looking to shut those pro-democracy protesters up once and for all. The new measure comes just a week before the three-year anniversary of pro-democracy demonstrations that sparked a government crackdown. For almost three years, Shia Muslims have led rallies calling for greater freedom and democracy in the Sunni-ruled country. Activists have also planned three days of “civil disobedience” to celebrate the three-year anniversary, but now they may have to re-think their protest signs. CNN

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