While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 27 edition

Germanwings flight 4U9525: Shock in Europe after ‘deliberate’ crash

The co-pilot of the doomed Germanwings flight appears to have “deliberately” crashed the plane after locking his captain out of the cockpit, French officials said Thursday, in revelations that sparked global shock and prompted some airlines to review their cockpit policies.

In a chilling account of the final minutes of Germanwings Flight 4U9525, lead prosecutor Brice Robin said 28-year-old German Andreas Lubitz initiated the plane’s descent Tuesday into the French Alps while alone at the controls.

Lubitz appeared to “show a desire to want to destroy” the plane, Robin told reporters after his team analysed the Airbus A320’s cockpit voice recorder.

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Germanwings flight 4U9525 crash: Final minutes of doomed plane

The flight started like any other, the conversation in the cockpit perfectly normal, with co-pilot Andreas Lubitz (above) offering no indication of the horror he would soon allegedly inflict on the other 149 people on board flight 4U9525.

"For the first 20 minutes, they spoke in a normal fashion, courteous, like normal pilots. There was nothing abnormal," French prosecutor Brice Robin told reporters on Thursday.

"Then we hear the pilot ask the co-pilot to take the controls and we hear the sound of a seat being pulled back and a door closing. We can assume he left to answer nature's call."

Once left alone, Lubitz turned a button on the flight monitoring system that began the plane's descent.

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Major blaze rips through New York building

Twelve people were hurt on Thursday when a New York building collapsed and a large blaze tore through a second property, which was also in danger of falling down, the fire department said.

Three of the injured were in a critical condition as a result of the emergency just after 3pm in Manhattan’s popular East Village neighbourhood on Second Avenue, a spokesman told AFP.

Hundreds of fire fighters were coming and going, sirens blaring, and police officers were also on the spot.

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Football: Chelsea captain Terry signs one-year contract extension

John Terry has signed a one-year contract extension with Chelsea, the Premier League leaders announced on Thursday.

Terry's current deal was due to expire at the end of the season, but Blues' boss Jose Mourinho had insisted earlier this month there was no chance Chelsea's captain would be allowed to leave Stamford Bridge and the club have followed through on that promise.

The 34-year-old centre-back has been a key figure as Chelsea have opened up a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League, as well as winning the League Cup.

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Next season of Downton Abbey will be last

The sixth season of British television series Downton Abbey will be its last, producers said Thursday, bringing an end to the hit drama followed by millions around the world.

"Inevitably there comes a time when all shows should end and Downton is no exception," said Gareth Neame, managing director at Carnival Films and executive producer of the show, which is now in production.

The final season is slated to air later this year.

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