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Bill would let Paul run for two offices at same time
Written by BRUCE SCHREINER, Associated Press   
Friday, 07 March 2014 07:38

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Rand Paul's biggest political decision is approaching: whether to run for president in 2016 or focus solely on re-election to his U.S. Senate seat. A Republican lawmaker from his home state wants to free him from the potential dilemma by letting him run for both.

State Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer said Thursday he wants to clarify that current Kentucky law, which prevents someone from running for multiple offices, does not apply to federal elections.

A bill he introduced would allow candidates' names to appear twice on the same ballot if one or both offices sought are federal offices.

"He (Paul) is the impetus for it, but it could affect anyone in the federal delegation," said Thayer, R-Georgetown, who introduced the bill in the GOP-led Kentucky Senate.

He waited until the last day Senate bills could be introduced in the current legislative session to bring it forward. The 60-day session is two-thirds complete. Thayer said he was approached by Paul's staff about the legislation and later spoke several times with Kentucky's freshman senator about it.

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Judge dismisses FAA fine against small drone user
Written by JOAN LOWY, Associated Press   
Friday, 07 March 2014 07:37

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed the Federal Aviation Administration's only fine against a commercial drone user on the grounds that the small drone was no different than a model aircraft, a decision that appears to undermine the agency's power to keep a burgeoning civilian drone industry out of the skies.

Patrick Geraghty, a National Transportation Safety Board administrative law judge, said in his order dismissing the $10,000 fine that the FAA has no regulations governing model aircraft flights or for classifying model aircraft as an unmanned aircraft.

FAA officials said they were reviewing the decision and had no further comment. The agency can appeal the decision to the full five-member safety board.

The FAA levied the fine against aerial photographer Raphael Pirker for flying the small drone near the University of Virginia to make a commercial video in October 2011. Pirker appealed the fine to the safety board, which hears challenges to FAA decisions.

FAA officials have long taken the position that the agency regulates access to the national airspace, and therefore it has the power to bar drone flights, even when the drone weighs no more than a few pounds.

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Russia and Crimean politicians discuss referendum
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 07 March 2014 07:11

MOSCOW (AP) — The speaker for Russia's upper house of parliament says Crimea would be welcome as an "equal subject" in Russia if the region votes to leave Ukraine in an upcoming referendum.

Valentina Matvienko met with the head of Crimean parliament on Friday to discuss the region's possible accession to Russia. On Thursday, the parliament of Crimea voted to move the referendum date up by two weeks, to March 16, and to include a question on joining Russia.

Russia's parliament is planning to review a bill as early as next week that would speed up Crimea's integration into Russia. Crimea would be the first territory to officially join Russia since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.


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

 
On the rocks? 'Ice yachts' sail cold Hudson River
Written by MICHAEL HILL, Associated Press   
Friday, 07 March 2014 07:17

BARRYTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Sharp winds lashed up the Hudson River as sailors launched boats onto the ice. Sails whipped furiously as the long blades slid across a white sheet that spread for miles.

Finally, a frigid winter has created excellent conditions for ice sailing on the river.

"In the blink of an eye you can get up to 30 miles an hour ... you can just feel the power of the wind filling the sails," Michael Soldati said after a bracing run across the ice. "It's just awesome. It's just you and the wind."

More than a dozen boats hit the ice last weekend on a wide stretch of river with a view of the Catskill Mountains, about 100 miles north of New York City.

Many were one-person craft that skittered over the ice like so many puppies around two big dogs — the Rocket and Jack Frost. The two larger craft — each about 50 feet long — are reconditioned 19th-century ice yachts, made of heavy lumber and fitted with tall sails.

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Identities sought of 21 men killed at Pearl Harbor
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 06 March 2014 14:41

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The remains of 21 sailors killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor and buried as unknowns should be identified and returned to their families, a group of U.S. senators said Thursday.

The sailors were aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma when it was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941, ripped open by as many as nine torpedoes. The ship quickly rolled and came to rest just 20 minutes after being hit. Nearly 430 men died.

The remains of 27 sailors were classified as unknown and buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as The Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

In 2003, historian Ray Emory of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association used military records and personnel files to tentatively identify the 27 men. Five were then definitively identified by the Central Identification Laboratory of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and their remains returned to their families.

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