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Showing posts from February 21, 2013

5 dead after small jet crashes in eastern GA

THOMSON, Ga. (AP) — Five people were killed and two injured when a small jet crashed off the end of a runway in eastern Georgia, an official confirmed early Thursday.

Thomson-McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall said the jet crashed after 8 p.m. Wednesday. He said the two survivors were taken to area hospitals but did not have information on their conditions. He said the identities of those killed were being withheld pending notification of family members.

The Hawker Beechcraft 390/Premier I en route from Nashville, Tenn., crashed around 8:30 p.m. at the Thomson-McDuffie County Airport, about 30 miles west of Augusta, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said in an email.

Seven people were aboard, she told The Associated Press in the email. She added that she had no immediate details about a possible cause.

The Augusta Chronicle ( cited Assistant County Fire Chief Stephen Sewell as saying there were at least two survivors identified as a pilot…

BAE Systems Receives $28 Million Order to Produce U.S. Marine Corps Lightweight Helmets

BAE Systems has received a $28 million order from the U.S. Marine Corps for the production of lightweight combat helmets. The lightweight design, first produced by the company in 2012, represents the latest model in Marine Corps helmets since the Personnel Armor System Ground Troops helmet was replaced in 2003.

“This lightweight helmet is a sophisticated design engineered to meet the Corps’ protection requirements for bullets and fragmentation,” said Eric Gavelda, director of Warfighter Protection at BAE Systems Protection Systems. “This order allows us to continue production well into 2014.”

The lightweight helmet is fully certified to meet rigorous standards for ballistic, structural and non-ballistic impact testing set by the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Test Center. This new order is an option on an existing contract issued to BAE Systems in 2010. The cumulative value awarded thus far under the contract is approximately $56 million.

The lightweight helmet is produced at the company’s Jess…

“We must never forget what happened here": David Cameron visits Amritsar but stops short of apology for massacre

The PM condemned the Army’s role in the 1919 slaughter of 379 Indian protester but insisted Britain did not have to say sorry.

David Cameron today snubbed an opportunity to apologise for the 1919 slaughter of 379 Indian protesters by British troops.

The PM condemned the Army’s role in the Amritsar massacre during a historic visit to the site of the atrocity.

But he insisted Britain did not have to say sorry for the crimes of its forefathers.

However, Mr Cameron went further than any other premier since when he put a comment in a book of ­condolence.

He wrote: “This was a deeply shameful event in British history, one that Winston Churchill rightly described at the time as ‘monstrous’.

“We must never forget what happened here and in remembering we must ensure that the United Kingdom stands up for the right of peaceful protest around the world.”

Barefoot: Mr Cameron is shown around Golden Temple site

Speaking later about his decision not to apologise, Mr Cameron said: “We’re dealing with som…

South Korea faces quandary over potential human rights probe of North

SEOUL — The United Nations’ human rights chief declared recently that the time had come for a “long overdue” investigation into what she called unparalleled rights abuses in North Korea. The probe, unprecedented in scope, could help establish whether the North’s leaders are committing crimes against humanity.

Navi Pillay’s January proposal has already drawn support from the United States. But the decision has proved sensitive in South Korea, where leaders remain divided over whether to confront the North or try to somehow reduce tensions with it, even after Pyongyang last week detonated an underground nuclear device.

South Korea’s support for the human rights investigation is critical, because farther-removed countries view Seoul as the leader on North Korea policy issues.

But the decision on the Commission of Inquiry, or COI, comes at a particularly delicate time for South Korea, where a conservative new president, Park Geun-hye, takes office this month, having vowed to both re-engage …

Chinese cyberspies have hacked most Washington institutions, experts say

Start asking security experts which powerful Washington institutions have been penetrated by Chinese cyberspies, and this is the usual answer: almost all of them.

The list of those hacked in recent years includes law firms, think tanks, news organizations, human rights groups, contractors, congressional offices, embassies and federal agencies.

The information compromised by such intrusions, security experts say, would be enough to map how power is exercised in Washington to a remarkably nuanced degree. The only question, they say, is whether the Chinese have the analytical resources to sort through the massive troves of data they steal every day.

“The dark secret is there is no such thing as a secure unclassified network,” said James A. Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which has been hacked in the past. “Law firms, think tanks, newspapers — if there’s something of interest, you should assume you’ve been penetrated.”

The rising wave of cy…

Internet giants back life extension research

Google's Sergey Brin and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to award 11 scientists researching life extension with $3m each.

Famed founders of Internet rivals Google and Facebook joined forces to back big-money prizes for research aimed at extending human life.

Sergey Brin and Mark Zuckerberg, along with their spouses, on Wednesday joined Russian venture capitalist Yuri Milner to award 11 scientists $3m each to launch the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.

"Priscilla and I are honoured to be part of this," Zuckerberg said.

"We believe the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences has the potential to provide a platform for other models of philanthropy, so people everywhere have an opportunity at a better future."

Art Levinson, who chairs boards at mobile device powerhouse Apple and biotechnology star Genentech, will head the non-profit foundation created to support breakthrough research.

Levinson said he believes the prize will spotlight outstanding minds in medicine and hop…

Pistorius detective faces own shooting charge

South African detective leading Paralympic star's inquiry faces seven charges of attempted murder, police say.

The lead detective in Oscar Pistorius' murder case is facing attempted murder charges for opening fire at a minibus containing seven people, a South African police spokesman says.

The prosecution said they were unaware of the charges against the detective when they put him on the stand in court to explain why Pistorius should not be given bail.

Police Brigadier Neville Malila said that detective Hilton Botha, who gave testimony in the Pistorius bail hearing on Wednesday, is scheduled to appear in court in May on seven counts of attempted murder.

The charges relate to an incident in October 2011, when Botha and two other police officers fired shots at a minibus, Malila said.

Malila said police learned Wednesday, the same day that Botha appeared in court to oppose Pistorius' bail application, that the charges against Botha and the two others had been reinstated by the D…

Air raid kills at least 14 near Syrian capital

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Activists say an air raid on a suburb of the Syrian capital of Damascus has killed at least 14 people.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Wednesday's raid on Hamouriyeh killed 14 and another 12 people are feared buried under debris.

Another activist group, the Local Coordination Committees, put the death toll higher, saying up to 35 were killed and dozens more were wounded.

Amateur videos posted online showed several vehicles on fire as thick black smoke billowed from a street. The videos show the bodies of two people, who were burned, in a pickup truck and a third person lying on the ground.

The videos appeared genuine and corresponded to other reporting on the events by The Associated Press.

Gunmen Kill 5 Soldiers, 2 Civilians in Indonesia

Unidentified gunmen shot and killed seven people Thursday in two separate attacks against the Indonesian army in the restive easternmost province of Papua, a military spokesman said.

Rear Adm. Iskandar Sitompul said assailants armed with guns and machetes ambushed an army vehicle, killing three sergeants, one private and two civilians.

Earlier in the day, another attack on an army post in the same area killed an army private and wounded a lieutenant, Sitompul said.

He believed the same group of more than 20 gunmen was responsible for both attacks in Tinggi Nambut, a village in the mountainous district of Puncak Jaya. The area is a stronghold of separatists who have battled Indonesian rule in the impoverished region for more than 40 years.

"They are believed to be old players who always try to disturb the situation there," Sitompul said.

The former Dutch colony of Papua was incorporated into Indonesia in 1969. The poorly armed Free Papua Movement has battled for independence since…

NATO and Afghan Forces Kill 25 Insurgents

NATO and Afghan forces have killed at least 25 insurgents and three of their commanders in separate operations around the country, Afghan and coalition officials said Wednesday.

The size and scope of the latest operations were an indication that the Afghan war is far from over after 11 years of conflict, even as U.S. and foreign forces begin rapidly withdrawing and handing the lead role for security to the Afghans.

Fighting is also expected to intensify as the traditional spring fighting season gets under way after the heavy snows that blanket much of northern and eastern Afghanistan starts melting.

The U.S.-led International Assistance Force has about 100,000 troops in the country, including about 66,000 from the United States. America is expected to pull out 34,000 of its troops within a year and its allies are also expected to scale back considerably. Afghan forces are to take the lead for security starting in the spring — months ahead of schedule.

Afghan policemen handle confiscated…