Tony Fernandes accompanies body of crew member to her home in Palembang

Flight stewardess Khairunnisa Haida Fauzi had been working with AirAsia for the past two years.

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes said on Friday (Jan 2) that he will be accompanying the body of flight stewardess Khairunnisa Haida Fauzi to her home in Palembang.



Miss Khairunnisa, 22, was among the first victims to be identified from the AirAsia disaster.

She was reportedly identified by her name tag "Khairunnisa" on her red outfit.  

Her body was placed in a coffin marked "004" and was moved from Pangkalan Bun to Surabaya on Thursday.

As of Friday evening, a total of 30 bodies have been recovered.

Indonesian officials told Metro TV that some victims were found with their seat belts on.

Source: The Star Online, Twitter

AirAsia search in Java Sea graveyard for WWII naval battle

The Indonesian Navy vessel KRI Bung Tomo taking part in search operations on Thursday in the Java Sea.
The Indonesian Navy vessel KRI Bung Tomo taking part in search operations on Thursday in the Java Sea.

The Java Sea, where a massive search operation is underway for AirAsia Flight QZ8501, is also the graveyard for one of the largest naval engagements of World War II.

Old wrecks, whether from battles or peacetime disasters, have occasionally given false leads to modern searches.

Indonesian search and rescue agency official S B Supriyadi said on Friday (Jan 2) the hunt for the AirAsia plane had detected a metal structure but it proved to be a false lead, “possibly a ship which sank”, AFP reported.

While it is unlikely to have been an old warship, the Java Sea was the scene of a disastrous defeat for the Allied navies by invading Imperial Japanese forces as they swept through the Dutch East Indies.

In the Battle of the Java Sea on Feb 27, 1942, a combined force of Dutch, US, British and Australian ships was hopelessly outmatched, suffering the loss of five warships and 2,300 sailors against Japanese losses of one damaged destroyer and 36 dead.

A second engagement by British and US forces on March 1 resulted in the sinking of three Allied warships with one Japanese destroyer damaged.

Bottom of the sea

Wrecks from these World War II battles remain at the bottom of the Java Sea and are popular with divers.

In August last year, US Navy archeologists, working with Indonesian navy divers, identified one as the cruiser USS Houston, which sank during the Battle of the Sunda Strait in 1942.

The US Navy said the ship, nicknamed “The Galloping Ghost of the Java Coast,” was the final resting place of about 650 sailors and Marines.

In November 2013, Indonesian researchers made a surprise discovery of what is believed to be a German submarine that was torpedoed off Java during World War II.

Researchers believe the wreck – which contained at least 17 human skeletons – is U-168, which succeeded in sinking several allied vessels before itself being torpedoed by a Dutch submarine in 1944.

As well as the human skeletons, dinner plates bearing swastikas, batteries, binoculars and a bottle of hair oil were pulled from the wreck.

Japan occupied Indonesia during World War II, which was then still known by its colonial name of the Dutch East Indies. Tokyo and Berlin were allies during the war.

Source: AFP


AirAsia QZ 8501: Singapore ship finds missing items including suitcase

A file photo of the RSS Valour

Singapore's RSS Valour has recovered several items belonging to passengers from AirAsia Flight QZ 8501 on Friday morning (Jan 2).

Items recovered during the Search and Rescue (SAR) operations include one black suitcase, a gas tube and some debris from the aircraft, according to




The items were transported to naval vessel KRI Banda Aceh by a speed boat. 

The recovered items have not been taken to Pangkalan Bun yet as Indonesian President Joko Widodo has told the joint SAR team to focus on retrieving the bodies of the passengers. 

Another Singapore ship, RSS Supreme, has recovered what could possibly be the plane's window panel.




Source: AsiaOne,, Facebook

Related stories:

AirAsia QZ 8501: Search area narrowed

QZ8501: Heartbreak as bodies return

BLOG: On board with search for QZ8501

Formula One: Jenson Button marries long-term girlfriend Jessica Michibata

British former world champion Jenson Button confirmed via Twitter on Thursday that he has married his long-term girlfriend Japanese-Argentine lingerie model Jessica Michibata.

The pair were pictured at a New Year’s Eve ceremony in Maui, Hawaii, in several British newspapers.

Photo: ST

The marriage capped a turbulent year for 34-year-old Button, whose father, John, died in January last year.

Button, who won the world championship in 2009, was recently confirmed as one of McLaren’s drivers for the 2015 season alongside the returning Fernando Alonso. - AFP


Mourinho: Poor refereeing decisions may force Hazard to leave

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho fears Eden Hazard will be forced out of the English game by roughhouse tactics following Chelsea's 5-3 drubbing against Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday (Jan 1)

After recording their second defeat this season, the Portuguese said: "People in love with football in this country, people must be in love with Eden Hazard.

"The way match to match he’s being punished by opponents and not protected by referees, maybe one day we won’t have Eden Hazard.

"It’s one, two, three, four, five and 10 aggressive fouls against him. They kick and kick and kick, and the kid resists. He’s a very honest guy in the way he plays, but that’s another problem."

Chelsea, who at one point looked to be running away with the Premier League title having held an eight-point advantage, have now been pegged back by second placed Manchester City who beat Sunderland 3-2.

The champions and Chelsea are level on goal difference and goals scored, so the Blues are top only on alphabetical order

Source: Mail Online, AFP


AirAsia QZ 8501: Search area narrowed

A member of the Indonesian Air Force Special Forces looks out the window of a Super Puma NAS 332 helicopter during a search and rescue operation over Kumai Bay, Central Borneo, Pangkalan Bun on Friday

Indonesian recovery teams narrowed the search area for AirAsia Flight QZ8501 on Friday (Jan 2), hopeful they were closing in on the plane’s crash site.

French and Singaporean investigators with equipment for detecting the signal from the plane’s black boxes were set to join the hunt for the Airbus A320-200, which disappeared from radar during a storm Sunday en route from Surabaya to Singapore. 

Search and rescue agency chief Bambang Soelistyo said Friday’s search was focused on an area of 1,575 sq nautical miles, with 29 ships and 17 aircraft engaged in the operation. 

It is a 10th of the size of Thursday’s search, which covered an area of 13,500 nautical square miles. 

"There are two main tasks in this priority sector: First, to locate the biggest part of the plane’s body. 

"The second task is to find the position of the black boxes, or flight recorders, which will be carried out by the KNKT (National Transport Safety committee) which start working today," he told a press conference. 

So far 16 bodies have been recovered. The search continues.

Source: AFP

Related stories:

QZ8501: Heartbreak as bodies return

BLOG: On board with search for QZ8501

Couple high on drugs ‘trapped’ inside unlocked closet for days

Amber Campbell, 25, and John Arwood, 31 were high on drugs when they broke into the Marine and Environmental Science Center at Daytona State College, Florida.

Then they got themselves trapped in a caretaker's closet for two days, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

When the police arrived after they had called them, they discovered that the closet had been open the whole time.

A foul smell led had led the police to the couple.

Inside the closet, they found faeces and paraphernalia for smoking meth and crack cocaine.

The couple were freed and then immediately arrested for trespass.

Sources:, Mail Online

US man decapitates mother with axe on New Year’s Eve

A schizophrenic Florida man decapitated his mother with an axe on New Year’s Eve because he was fed up with her nagging, US authorities and media said on Thursday.

Christian Jose Gomez, 23, was arrested and charged with first degree murder after admitting to killing his mother, Maria Suarez-Cassagne, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Police in the city of Oldsmar went to the woman’s house after a relative called to say Gomez “had cut her head off,” the sheriff’s office said.

He then dumped her body near the home’s garbage cans and disappeared on a bicycle before police caught him.

“He just left the body sitting there, next to the trash can, went into the garage, tried to clean up the scene a little bit,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told NBC News.

“When he saw that wouldn’t happen is when he left.”

Photos: WFLA/YouTube

According to several US media outlets, authorities said Gomez is a diagnosed schizophrenic.

Sheriff Gualtieri told WFLA television that Gomez had killed his mother, because he was upset she had been asking him to put some boxes in the attic.

“Because he was mad at her, he planned her murder for two days,” Sheriff Gualtieri said.

The murder weapon, an axe, was recovered. - AFP


Sorry, Kopites. Steven Gerrard is leaving Liverpool

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is set to leave the club at the end of the season.

It is the news the Anfield faithful feared would come for some time.

Steven Gerrard is set to quit Liverpool at the end of the season, after almost 17 years at Anfield.

The future of the Reds captain has been the subject of speculation for several months. It is also widely expected that he will continue his career overseas when his contract expires in the close season. 

The 34-year-old midfielder has already been linked with a move to MLS franchise LA Galaxy.

His decision has not been formally announced but a Daily Express report says he is poised to go public on his plans later today to avoid speculation over his future becoming a distraction during the rest of the season. 

In that same report, clubs from the Middle East will also express interest in Gerrard.

Former Liverpool teammate Jamie Carragher described Gerrard's decision as a "sad day".





Gerrard joined Liverpool as an eight-year-old and has made 695 first-team appearances, scoring 180 goals.

His greatest moment came when he scored in the Champions League final in 2005 and inspired Liverpool to come from 3-0 down at half-time against AC Milan and win the trophy on penalties.

But his hopes of winning the Premier League are likely to remain unfulfilled. Liverpool came up agonisingly short last season and lost out to Manchester City.

Gerrard returned to the starting line up for Thursday’s draw with Leicester after being rested for Monday’s win over Swansea.

But, with performances below his previous high standards for much of this season, the prospect of being a substitute in more matches next season as manager Brendan Rodgers manages his fitness has helped shape his decision to quit Anfield.

Source: AFP

Reporting from Kelantan: Boy braves flood to save school certs

Kelantan villagers recount how they scambled to move from place to place to escape the rapidly-rising waters

AWASH: An aerial view of a road in the village of Banggol Nering in Kelantan. The village was inundated with flood waters last Monday, forcing residents to flee.
AFTERMATH: (Above) Mrs Zainab Alias cleaning up her pots and pans. Her son, Mr Lukmi Ismail (in the background), had pushed her to safety through the waters on the cover of a large polystyrene box when they fled their home last Monday.
Muhammad Azrul Arif washing some books that he managed to salvage from his home. When flood waters inundated his house in the village of Banggol Nering, the 15-year-old made it a priority to save his and his sibling’s educational certificates.
SAD HOMECOMING: With the flood waters receding, residents of the village of Kusial Bharu are gradually returning to their homes to check on the damage.

As the flood waters rushed in last Monday, he was not thinking of his favourite football or any money he had put aside.

Instead, 15-year-old Muhammad Azrul Arif had only one thing in mind to save: The educational certificates he and his siblings had earned over the years.

Azrul, who lives in the village of Banggol Nering in flood-ravaged Kelantan, said: “I figured that the certificates would be important for me if I want to enrol in a university in the future.”

The youngster scrambled to retrieve the certificates before he and his elder brother were evacuated by a boat belonging to another villager.

Read the full report in our print edition on Jan 2.

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BLOG: Kelantan after the flood