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Ukraine's Crimea base taken, commander detained PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JOHN-THOR DAHLBURG, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 11:45

SEVASTOPOL, Crimea (AP) — Masked Russian-speaking troops on Wednesday seized control of Ukrainian naval headquarters in Crimea after it was stormed by militiamen. Pro-Moscow Crimean authorities also detained the Ukrainian navy commander and reportedly blocked the defense minister and another government official from traveling to the peninsula in what they said was a bid to defuse tensions.

Ukraine's military, which is heavily outnumbered in Crimea, has come under increased pressure since the region was nominally incorporated into Russia on Tuesday.

The several hundred militiamen who captured the base in Sevastopol met no resistance. Sevastopol is also the home port of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, and tens of thousands of Russian-led troops are now patrolling Crimea.

It came a day after a confrontation between Ukrainian soldiers and pro-Russian militia left two dead.

The Russian-speaking troops, who arrived on the base after the storming, wore helmets, flak jackets and uniforms with no identifying insignia. By afternoon, they were in full control of the naval headquarters, a set of three-story boxy white concrete buildings with blue trim. It was not immediately clear how many, if any, Ukrainian servicemen remained on the base.

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What if the missing Malaysia plane is never found? PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by KRISTEN GELINEAU, Associated Press NICK PERRY, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 15:05

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The plane must be somewhere. But the same can be said for Amelia Earhart's.

Ten days after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared with 239 people aboard, an exhaustive international search has produced no sign of the Boeing 777, raising an unsettling question: What if the airplane is never found?

Such an outcome, while considered unlikely by many experts, would certainly torment the families of those missing. It would also flummox the airline industry, which will struggle to learn lessons from the incident if it doesn't know what happened.

While rare nowadays, history is not short of such mysteries — from the most famous of all, American aviator Earhart, to planes and ships disappearing in the so-called Bermuda Triangle.

"When something like this happens that confounds us, we're offended by it, and we're scared by it," said Ric Gillespie, a former U.S. aviation accident investigator who wrote a book about Earhart's still-unsolved 1937 disappearance over the Pacific Ocean. "We had the illusion of control and it's just been shown to us that oh, folks, you know what? A really big airliner can just vanish. And nobody wants to hear that."

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Putin signs treaty to add Crimea to map of Russia PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 13:40

MOSCOW (AP) — With a sweep of his pen, President Vladimir Putin added Crimea to the map of Russia on Tuesday, describing the move as correcting past injustice and responding to what he called Western encroachment upon Russia's vital interests.

While his actions were met with cheers in Crimea and Russia, Ukraine's new government called Putin a threat to the whole world and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden warned that the U.S. and Europe will impose further sanctions against Moscow.

"The world has seen through Russia's actions and has rejected the flawed logic," Biden said as he met with anxious European leaders in Poland.

In an emotional 40-minute speech televised live from the Kremlin's white-and-gold St. George hall, the Russian leader said he was merely restoring order to history by incorporating Crimea.

"In people's hearts and minds, Crimea has always been an integral part of Russia," he declared.

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Big asteroid will eclipse bright star early Thursday PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer   
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 13:15

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Skywatchers, get ready to see a rare vanishing act — and don't blink.

In the wee hours of Thursday, a 45-mile-wide asteroid will eclipse the brightest star in the Constellation Leo. The asteroid is 163 Erigone in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The star briefly disappearing will be Regulus.

This so-called occultation will last no more than 14 seconds, around 2 a.m. EDT. It could be as short as a fraction of a second.

What makes this unusual is the brightness of Regulus and the potential viewing audience. Weather permitting, the eclipse should be visible with the naked eye from New York City and elsewhere along a populated swath in the U.S. Northeast and eastern Canada.

___

Online:

International Occultation Timing Association: http://occultations.org/regulus2014/


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
(Updated) News helicopter crashes near Space Needle; two dead PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MANUEL VALDES, Associated Press PHUONG LE, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 13:11

 

SEATTLE (AP) — A news helicopter crashed into the street and exploded into flames Tuesday near Seattle's Space Needle, killing two people on board, badly injuring a man in a car and sending plumes of black smoke over the city during the morning commute.

The chopper was taking off from the KOMO-TV station when it went down on Broad Street and hit three vehicles, starting them on fire and spewing burning fuel down the street.

Kristopher Reynolds, a contractor working nearby, saw the wreck. He said the helicopter lifted about 5 feet and was about to clear a building when it tilted. It looked like it was trying to correct itself when it took dive downward.

"Next thing I know, it went into a ball of flames," he said.

When firefighters arrived, they found the helicopter, two cars and a pickup truck on fire, along with a huge cloud smoke, fire department spokesman Kyle Moore said.

"Not only were the cars on fire, the fuel running down the street was on fire," he told reporters at the scene.

Firefighters stopped the burning fuel from entering the sewer.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 13:37
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