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Wikinews Shorts: February 5, 2009

A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, February 5, 2009.

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Contents

Flight 1549 transcript released

The United States Federal Aviation Administration has released a transcript of the conversations that went on between Flight 1549 and the control tower at La Guardia before the airplane crash landed in the Hudson river. All 155 passengers and crew survived and were rescued by a flotilla of boats.

The transcripts reveal that the pilot, Chesley Sullenberger, realised that both engines had been disabled by bird strike and that the airplane was about to crash. Controllers attempted to clear runways at nearby airports but Sullenberger had to put down immediately, telling them "we're going to be in the Hudson".

The transcript, in PDF format, can be read here.

Sources


UK house prices rise despite recession

The average price of a house in the United Kingdom rose by 1.9% in January, according to a survey by the mortgage lender Halifax. This takes the average price to £163,966 - a rise, according to The Daily Mail, of £100 a day, although their headline and story do not agree on the figure.

Year-on-year figures show that prices fell 17.2% since January 2007, and 5.1% over the last three months. A similar survey by the Nationwide Building Society said that prices fell 1.3% in January. The Daily Mail says 1.2 million households now have "negative equity", where the mortgage on their property is more than the property is actually worth.

Sources


Bank of England cuts interest rate; European Central Bank waits

The Bank of England, the UK's central bank, has cut interest rates to their lowest level since the bank was created in 1694. The new base rate is to be 1%, down half a percentage point.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank, which governs rates in the Eurozone, has left its rates unchanged at 2%, but has hinted that a half point cut is possible in the next review in a month's time.

Sources


U.S. new unemployment at 26-year high

The U.S. Department of Labor says that initial jobless claims in the country have gone up 35,000 to a seasonally adjusted 626,000. The figures for the last week of January are the highest since 1982. The four-week average, which removes anomolies like strikes and holidays, were up 39,000 to 582,250. America now has 4.788 million people unemployed and claiming welfare. Bloomberg believes that 7.5% of the working population will be unemployed in figures to be released tomorrow.

Sources