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Germanwings co-pilot 'rehearsed' crashing plane into Alps

The Germanwings co-pilot thought to have deliberately caused the French Alps plane disaster "rehearsed" his plan on an earlier flight on the day of the crash, an accident report is expected to reveal.

All 150 people on the Airbus A320, including three Britons, were killed when it crashed while flying from Barcelona to Dusseldorf on 24 March.

Andreas Lubitz has suffered from severe depression Credit: Reuters

An interim report from French air accident bureau the BEA will say that Andreas Lubitz practised reducing flight altitude on the outbound flight from Dusseldorf to Barcelona, according to German newspaper Bild.

Bild said the BEA report would talk about a "controlled descent that lasted for minutes and for which there was no aeronautical justification".

Lubitz, who had suffered from severe depression, had used the internet to research ways of committing suicide in the days leading up to the crash.


Obama approves relaunch of US-Cuba ferry services

For the first time in decades ferries will run between the United States and Cub after president Obama gave the service the green light.

The move potentially opens a new path for hundreds of thousands of people and a trade route of hundreds of millions of dollars in goods between Florida and Havana each year.

International cruise ships are regular visitors to cuba Credit: Reuters

Cuba's government has yet to comment on the news though and it is far from clear that it is willing or able to allow a major new channel for the movement of goods and people between the two countries which was closed after the 1959 revolution.

Baja Ferries, which operates a passenger service in Mexico, said it received a licence from the US Treasury Department and company lawyer Robert Muse said he believed other ferry service petitions had also been approved.

"I think it's a further indication of the seriousness of the Obama administration in normalising relations with Cuba," said Mr Muse, an expert on US law on Cuba.

"We're now going from the theoretical to the very specific."


Cameron and Clegg issue last ditch pleas to voters

David Cameron and Nick Clegg have issued last ditch pleas to voters ahead of the General Election tomorrow.

The Prime Minister said in video posted on the Tory YouTube channel: "If you vote Conservative you'll be voting for a plan that's creating jobs, building homes, building a better future for our country.

"I'm not saying we've solved every problem in our country, but I think with another five years we can build on these strong foundations, so please, in these last few hours, get out and vote on Thursday, and vote Conservative."

While Clegg urged the electorate to vote for a government with "both a heart and a brain".

He told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "We'll balance the books fairly, we'll cut taxes, we'll put money into schools and hospitals and we'll end pay cuts for public sector workers.

"Vote for the Liberal Democrats if you want a stable, decent, united United Kingdom."

Daniele Watts to apologise to police over 'racial' arrest claim

Actress Daniele Watts, who accused Los Angeles police of arresting her because of her race last year, must apologise to officers over the incident.

The actress, best known for her role in Quentin Tarantino's 2012 western Django Unchained, was ordered to make the apology as part of a deal after pleading no contest to disturbing the peace in relation to the arrest.

At the time Watts said she had been accosted by police largely because she is black and her boyfriend is white.

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