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Dispatches Human Race

Indonesian plane goes down

The Indonesian navy finds wreckage from Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 in the Java Sea. (Anton Raharjo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)


A Boeing 737-500 jet crashed into the Java Sea after it disappeared from radar minutes after departing from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on Jan. 9. It took off in heavy rain with 62 people on board. Rescue workers have recovered the flight data recorder, plane parts, and human remains, but no survivors from the Sriwijaya Air jet. Soerjanto Tjahjono, chairman of Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee, said the recorder would help investigators understand what happened. Tjahjono said the debris was mostly concentrated in one area, signaling the jet was intact when it hit the water. The United States’ National Transportation Safety Board is aiding the investigation. In 2018, 189 people died after a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 also plunged into the Java Sea minutes after takeoff.


Hong Kong police on Jan. 6 arrested 55 former lawmakers and pro-democracy activists in an unprecedented crackdown under the new national security law. Most of those targeted had participated in unofficial election primaries for the territory’s legislature in July. The national security law carries a maximum life sentence. Former lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting recorded the moment police showed up at his house, saying he was “suspected of violating the national security law, subverting state power.” Police also arrested Benny Tai, a leader in the 2014 Occupy Central protests, and raided the home of Joshua Wong, an activist currently serving 13½ months in prison for organizing and participating in an unauthorized protest last year.


Hall of Fame baseball manager Tommy Lasorda died of a heart attack at his home in Fullerton, Calif., on Jan. 8. He was 93. Lasorda had a 71-year relationship with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a player, scout, manager, and executive. He had a short career as a major league player in the 1950s but achieved stardom as a manager, leading the Dodgers to World Series titles in 1981 and 1988. Lasorda was known for his enthusiastic personality and his occasionally obscene language with sports reporters. He also pitched SlimFast weight-loss products in TV commercials. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Jo; a daughter; and a granddaughter.


President-elect Joe Biden named U.S. Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland as his choice for attorney general on Jan. 7. If confirmed by the Senate, he will head the U.S. Justice Department in that role. Senate Republicans refused to hold hearings when President Barack Obama nominated Garland for a vacant Supreme Court seat in 2016. Garland serves as a federal appeals court judge and previously held senior positions at the Justice Department. He supervised the prosecution of Timothy McVeigh, the 1995 Oklahoma City bomber, and has served under presidents of both political parties.