DHL to begin deliveries by drone in Germany
LONDON — In the world of drones, Europe is out to show that whatever the United States can do, it can do better.
That’s the plan for Friday, when a small pilotless aircraft, or drone, owned by the German logistics company DHL is expected to take off and ferry medicine to Juist, a sparsely populated island off the northwestern coast of Germany. The flight — expected to take as long as 30 minutes, depending on weather conditions — would be the first time a drone without the aid of even a land-based pilot has been authorized for regular use in Europe, the company said.
Like Amazon, which is running tests in Canada, and Google, which is conducting tests in Australia, DHL is hoping its monthlong trial will prove that the technology — dubbed parcelcopter — can replace some of the traditional ways of delivering parcels to remote locations. Yet while Google and Amazon have outlined plans to potentially roll out their drone services across large areas, DHL said that it probably would not expand the trial across its global delivery network. Instead, the German logistics company said the drone technology could be used in special situations — in remote locations, for example — where it is more cost-effective to use an unmanned aircraft than to send a delivery van or a bike messenger.
—Mark Scott, The New York Times
Chrysler recalls 349,000 vehicles for faulty ignition switch
Chrysler announced Thursday that it would recall 349,442 vehicles worldwide for faulty ignition switches that could cause cars to suddenly turn off while driving, adding to the recent wave of automobile recalls related to ignition problems.
The latest recall affects 2008 vehicles, including the Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee SUVs, earlier models of which were recalled in July for the same problem. The company is also recalling 2008 models of the Chrysler 300 sedan, the Dodge Charger sedan and the Dodge Magnum station wagon.
The problems are similar to the ignition defects identified in more than 16 million General Motors cars this year and in more than 1 million other Chrysler vehicles. The ignition switches in the latest group of recalled Chrysler models can rotate to the “accessory” or “off” position when jostled by a knee or bump in the road. Such a rotation can turn off power to the engine, disengage power steering and disable safety features like air bags.
Chrysler, a division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, said in a statement that it knew of one accident related to the defect, and that it had linked no deaths or injuries to it.
—Rebecca R. Ruiz, The New York Times
Death toll in Xinjiang violence may be higher than reported
BEIJING — Violent clashes last weekend in Xinjiang, the western Chinese region, killed and injured a higher number of people than state media had reported, witnesses and Western news media have indicated in recent days.
Citing local officials and residents, Radio Free Asia, which is funded by the U.S. government, said Thursday that more than a dozen people were killed — including three police officers — and around 100 wounded in the violence, which took place Sunday in three towns in the southern county of Bugur, known as Luntai in Chinese.
On Monday, the Xinjiang government’s Tianshan website said two people had been killed and referred to the incidents as “explosions.”
—Dan Levin, The New York Times