United States

Around the World: March 11, 2015

Here's what's happening across the United States and around the world today.

Analysis: Clinton's no-apology email defense won't change dynamic between her critics, backers
WASHINGTON (AP) — The message from Hillary Rodham Clinton: Trust me. But in a 21-minute news conference to address why she used a private email account as secretary of state, the favorite for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 2016 did little to try to build that trust among those willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.
Granted, that may be a thin slice of America. Few people inspire more clear-cut devotion and antipathy than the former first lady, senator and diplomat. Still, as she nears the launch of her presidential campaign, Clinton might have used the occasion of a rare news conference to reach out, to make a special effort to refute claims that she's overly secretive and legalistically clever.
For instance, she might have taken up the suggestion of Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who demanded Clinton ask a neutral arbiter to review the contents of her private email server.
But Clinton didn't.
She remained poised before a pack of reporters, giving no ground. The server will remain private.
She said she had exercised her right to decide which of roughly 60,000 emails at issue were work-related and which concerned personal topics, such as her mother's funeral and her daughter's wedding. She deleted and did not archive those in the second group, she said.
Military: 7 Marines, 4 soldiers missing after Army helicopter crashes in the Florida Panhandle
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — Seven Marines and four soldiers were missing early Wednesday after an Army helicopter crashed during a night training exercise at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle.
Base officials said the Marines are part of a Camp Lejeune-based special operations group and the soldiers were from a Hammond, Louisiana-based National Guard unit.
The helicopter was reported missing around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and search and rescue crews found debris from the crash around 2 a.m. Wednesday, Eglin spokesman Andy Bourland said.
"At this time all are missing," Bourland said.
Names of those involved were being withheld pending notification of next of kin, he said.
1 fraternity member seen in video, parents of another apologizes for racist chant
DALLAS (AP) — A former University of Oklahoma fraternity member who was shown in a video chanting a racial slur issued an apology Tuesday, as did the parents of a second student.
In a statement emailed by his father, Parker Rice said the incident that was caught on video was "likely was fueled by alcohol," but "that's not an excuse."
"I am deeply sorry for what I did Saturday night," Rice said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press by his father. "It was wrong and reckless."
Meanwhile, the parents of another student seen on the video, Levi Pettit, released a statement that said, "he made a horrible mistake, and will live with the consequences forever."
Both Pettit and Rice are from Texas.
Long before disturbing video by Oklahoma members, Sigma Alpha Epsilon struggled with race
Sigma Alpha Epsilon's international headquarters may be in Illinois, but the fraternity's roots are firmly planted in the antebellum South. "We came up from Dixie land," says a ditty from an old songbook, boasting about SAE's success.
Now, nearly 160 years after its founding at the University of Alabama, another song — this one chanted by members of the frat's University of Oklahoma chapter and containing racial slurs and lynching references — hearkens back to the bad old times in the land of cotton and puts a new spotlight on the group's activities over the years.
SAE began on the Tuscaloosa campus on March 9, 1856, a few months after Noble Leslie DeVotie outlined his vision to a close circle of friends during a stroll along the banks of the Black Warrior River.
The initial members visualized "a bond which would hold them together for all time," William C. Levere wrote in a 1916 history of the fraternity. "So it came about that in the late hours of a stormy night, the friends met in the old southern mansion and by the flicker of dripping candles organized Sigma Alpha Epsilon."
More chapters were soon launched in Tennessee, North Carolina and even Washington, D.C., at what is now George Washington University. But the founders weren't interested in a national presence.
Pilots in Argentina helicopter crash that killed 10 were well trained, authorities say
VILLA CASTELLI, Argentina (AP) — The two helicopters had just taken off and were flying in tandem over some of Argentina's most rugged terrain, carrying well-known French athletes and others who were participating in the popular TV reality show "Dropped."
Then one of the aircraft suddenly swerved, clipping the other and sending both plummeting to the ground in the foothills of the Andes and killing all 10 people on board.
The helicopters were in good condition and both Argentine pilots were qualified and experienced, family and officials said Tuesday, with speculation on why the collision happened ranging from blinding sunlight to the thermal updrafts that are common in the hot, cactus-filled landscape.
Andres Navarrete, mayor of Lamadrid, the northwestern municipality that includes the town of Villa Castelli close to the crash site, said one of the pilots, Juan Carlos Castillo, had "an entire life of experiences" flying helicopters.
Monday's crash, which killed eight French nationals and the two Argentine pilots, sent France into mourning and raised questions about the dangers of filming survivalist reality programs in far-flung lands under extreme conditions.
From dream job to lawsuit: flight attendant in nut rage case sues Korean Air, former exec
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A flight attendant who says she was living her dream by working for Korean Air is now suing the airline and its infamous nut rage executive, claiming the bizarre onboard tantrum ruined her career.
Kim Do Hee, the flight attendant, is seeking compensation through a trial in New York city after she was verbally and physically attacked by Korean Air heiress Cho Hyun-ah, according to a statement on Wednesday by two American law firms, the Weinstein Law Firm and Kobre & Kim.
Cho, a vice president overseeing cabin service at the time of the Dec. 5 incident, was enraged that Kim, 27, served her macadamia nuts in a bag, not on a dish.
After a heated confrontation with crew in the first class cabin, Cho ordered head flight attendant Park Chang-jin off the plane, forcing it to return to a gate at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
It is the first civil lawsuit connected with the nut rage case, which infuriated South Koreans and hogged global headlines. Last month a South Korean court sentenced Cho, 40, to one year in prison for violating aviation security laws, using violence against a flight attendant and other charges. Cho, who is the daughter of Korean Air's chairman, has appealed the ruling from prison.
Ferguson city manager is 5th to be fired or resign after Justice Department report
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Five people in Ferguson have been fired or resigned under pressure in the week since the release of a Justice Department report alleging racial bias in the city police department and a profit-driven court system.
The latest to go was City Manager John Shaw, whose eight-year tenure in the St. Louis County town ended Tuesday when the city council voted 7-0 to approve a "mutual separation agreement."
His departure followed the firing of Municipal Court Clerk Mary Ann Twitty, the resignations of police Capt. Rick Henke and Sgt. William Mudd, and the Monday resignation of Municipal Court Judge Ronald Brockmeyer.
The St. Louis suburb has been beleaguered by unrest since a white police officer fatally shot unarmed, black 18-year-old Michael Brown last summer. Brown's shooting prompted protests in the St. Louis area and across the nation, which escalated in November when a St. Louis County grand jury declined to bring charges against Officer Darren Wilson, who later resigned.
The Justice Department also cleared Wilson of civil rights charges in the shooting in a report released March 4. But that same day, the DOJ also issued a scathing report citing racial bias and profiling among police and alleging that the court system functioned as a money-making enterprise that particularly targeted the poor and minorities.
The report repeatedly cited Shaw's role, as the city's chief executive, in encouraging police to aggressively ticket motorists as a means to generate revenue.
Afghanistan's only woman taxi driver braves death threats to defy conservative traditions
MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan (AP) — Sara Bahai's decision to become Afghanistan's only known female taxi driver was motivated less by ideals of equality than by the need to support an extended family — and a love of driving that has confined her conservative detractors to the rear-view mirror.
She still remembers her first time behind the wheel, shortly after the Taliban were driven from power in the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. "I felt like I was in the sky, and I totally fell in love with driving," she said. There was no turning back.
Bahai, now around 40 years old, had already spent much of her life defying taboos in Afghanistan, where women are widely regarded as inferior to men and discouraged from working outside the home.
She never married, she said, because she had to support her parents and siblings and feared a husband would prevent her from working. With no children of her own she adopted two boys, now both in high school. When Taliban insurgents shot and killed her brother-in-law, she took in her sister and seven nieces and nephews. She now supports a dozen people.
To put food on the table, she drives around the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif in a spotlessly clean yellow and white Toyota Corolla with sparkly woven seat covers and a good luck talisman in the front window.
$7.4M verdict in 'Blurred Lines' judgment likely to ripple through music, legal industries
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A jury's verdict that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke copied Marvin Gaye's music to create their hit song "Blurred Lines" won't just be felt by the singer's pocketbooks — it has the potential to change how musicians work and could open the door to new copyright claims.
An eight-person jury determined Tuesday that Williams and Thicke copied elements of Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up" and ordered the pair to pay nearly $7.4 million to the late singer's three children.
Gaye's daughter, Nona Gaye, wept as the verdict was read and later told reporters, "Right now, I feel free. Free from ... Pharrell Williams' and Robin Thicke's chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told."
The music industry may feel new constraints in the coming years as artists — and lawyers — sort through the verdict and its implications.
Howard King, lead attorney for Thicke and Williams, told jurors in closing arguments that a verdict for the Gaye family would have a chilling effect on musicians' trying to evoke an era or create an homage to the sound of earlier musicians. Williams contended during the trial that he was only trying to mimic the "feel" of Gaye's late 1970s music, but insisted he did not use elements of his idol's work.
Trades, retirements, even some signings — Revis back to Jets — as NFL free agency begins
NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL's business season began with a bang. Several actually: trades, retirements and, yes, even some big free agent moves.
It wasn't until mid-evening Tuesday that the first huge star took advantage of free agency: Darrelle Revis returning to the Jets for five years and $70 million.
There were plenty of moves beforehand involving frequent All-Pros. But they were in the form trades or leaving the sport altogether.
Monster deals sent Saints tight end Jimmy Graham to Seattle and Rams quarterback Sam Bradford to Philadelphia. San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis, plagued by sore feet, announced his retirement. So did injury-prone QB Jake Locker of the Titans, who spent just four seasons in the league.
The biggest shocker was the Graham deal, which sent Seahawks center Max Unger to New Orleans, along with a first-round draft pick. Seattle also got a fourth-rounder.
Copyright AP - Associated Press
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