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Faulty equipment and the crew's "inability to control the aircraft" caused an AirAsia A320 to crash into the Java Sea last year, killing all 162 people onboard, an Indonesian report said Tuesday. Flight QZ8501 plunged into the ocean in stormy weather on December 28, during what was supposed to be a routine flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore. The crash of the Airbus A320-200 triggered a huge international search, with ships and aircraft from several nations involved in a lengthy hunt that was hampered by strong currents and bad weather.
The German cabinet on Tuesday approved a mandate offering military assistance to back the fight against the Islamic State jihadist group, sources said. The package, which still requires parliamentary approval, covers Tornado reconnaissance jets, a naval frigate and up to 1,200 troops following a request from France in the wake of deadly jihadist attacks in Paris last month. "The German contribution serves the fight against terrorism under the auspices of the alliance against IS and is aimed at supporting in particular France, Iraq and the international alliance in its fight against IS," according to a copy of the mandate obtained by AFP.