Your Monday Briefing – The New York Times


For the second time in less than five months, one of the company’s new 737 Max jets went down shortly after takeoff. The crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight on Sunday near Addis Ababa killed all 157 people onboard. Here are the latest updates.

The circumstances were eerily similar to the crash of a Lion Air flight off Indonesia in October that killed 189. Early information on Sunday’s crash is incomplete and does not rule out pilot error or a different malfunction.

The 737 Max is an update to a model that is a linchpin for airlines around the world. After the crash in Indonesia, some American aviation officials said that a software update for the Max’s flight control system wasn’t adequately explained to pilots. Many airlines have since provided training, but whether Ethiopian Airlines did so was not immediately known.

The passengers: The flight, which was bound for Nairobi, Kenya, had been nicknamed the “U.N. shuttle” because of how often United Nations staff members took it. At least 22 employees of U.N.-affiliated agencies were among those killed.Basic questions: In the U.S., American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines all use the 737 Max. Here are some answers to common questions.

Last year, 47 disclosed attacks in Somalia killed 326 people thought to be Shabab fighters, Defense Department data show — the third record high in three years. So far this year, the intensity is on a pace to eclipse the 2018 record.

Background: The U.S. estimates that the Shabab have 5,000 to 7,000 fighters in Somalia, where the group controls about 20 percent of the country. Late last month, the group claimed responsibility for an attack on a hotel in the capital, Mogadishu, that killed at least 25.

The Times reconstructed an episode last month in which an aid truck trying to cross a bridge connecting Colombia and Venezuela burst into flames. The analysis contradicts the idea promoted by the U.S. that forces loyal to President Nicolás Maduro were to blame.