Day: August 16, 2017

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Airport upset over Disney look


A snobby British airport lounge turned away an entire family headed for a Disney vacation in Florida — all because they were wearing Minnie Mouse t-shirts.

Emma Raikes, her mom, her 2-year-old niece Quinn and five other family members were initially told they were persona non grata at the Aspire Lounge at Terminal One of Manchester Airport on Monday morning.

Raikes said her mom, Jane Walshaw, shelled out nearly $220 for lounge entrance.

“We were extremely disappointed at the hassle we faced when trying to enter the lounge we had booked,” Raikes, 33, told the Manchester Evening News.

“We are on a familymoon to Disney and did not think a Minnie Mouse t-shirt with our name on would be seen as offensive. It was a disappointing start to our holiday.”

The family was allowed inside only after they were forced to cover up Minnie.

The airport lounge is operated and owned by Swiss aviation services firm, Swissport, and a company representative admitted they were wrong to boot the Disney-loving family.

“Our lounges do have a dress code in which we allow guests to wear a myriad of smart casual items and disallow other items such as tour shirts, sportswear and fancy dress, the rep said.

“On this specific occasion, the member of staff who dealt with the family was wrong to have asked them to cover their personalized t-shirts and has misinterpreted the dress code, which is designed to ensure a comfortable atmosphere for all guests within our network of lounges.”

Lounge employees will be “re-educated,” the company rep said.

“We sincerely apologize to the family for this genuine mistake and would encourage them to contact us directly to resolve this matter,” according to the company.

This article orginally appeared on the New York Post.



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ALABAMA SUES BIRMINGHAM OVER COVERING…


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — UPDATE 3 PM AUG. 16, 2017: Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said Wednesday his office has filed a lawsuit in the Jefferson County Circuit Court against Mayor WIlliam Bell and the City of Birmingham for violating state law by constructing barriers to cover the monument in Linn Park.

“In accordance with the law, my office has determined that by affixing tarps and placing plywood around the Linn Park Memorial such that it is hidden from view, the Defendants have ‘altered’ or ‘otherwise disturbed’ the memorial in violation of the letter and spirit of the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act,” said Attorney General Marshall.  “The City of Birmingham does not have the right to violate the law and leaves my office with no choice but to file suit.”

Bell responded to the news Wednesday afternoon with a statement sent to news media via his spokesperson April Odom:

We look forward to the court system clarifying the rights and power of a municipality to control its parks absent state intervention.– Mayor William Bell

City workers arrived at Linn Park just before 10 p.m. Tuesday night with large wooden walls and nail guns to cover the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument on orders from Birmingham Mayor Williams Bell.

The monument stands at the entrance of the park at the end of 20th Street North, and it was given to the city by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1905, according to Bhamwiki.

Mayor Bell’s order came in the wake of violence perpetrated by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend, which left one person dead and many others injured. The violence began with protests over the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Mayoral candidate Frank Matthews had objections to the covering of the confederate monument in Birmingham. Matthews shadowed city workers late last night, protesting against the covering. He argued that the monument should not be covered now because it was not covered after the murder of nine black churchgoers by a self-avowed white supremacist in Charleston, South Carolina back in 2015.

“No, this is not rabble rousing. I’m speaking to what is wrong,” Matthews said. “You didn’t take it down when nine people was killed. Nine black people in a church.”

Despite Matthews’ protest, the work continued on covering the monument. According to April Odom with the city’s office, the Mayor is exploring legal options for removing the monument.



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AA ruins wedding dress?


Flying with a wedding dress can be tricky. In fact, there are several message boards dedicated to this very subject, covering everything from packing the dress to storing it on the aircraft.  

But nowhere in any of those forums is advice on what to do about a flight attendant who purposely ruins a passenger’s dress mid-flight — which is exactly what Yewande Oteh of Cherry Hill, N.J., has accused an American Airlines employee of doing.

AMERICAN AIRLINES ‘UNABLE TO SUBSTANTIANTE’ LENA DUNHAM’S ACCUSATIONS OF TRANSPHOBIC EMPLOYEES

In to a lawsuit filed in federal court on Tuesday, Oteh alleges that she was flying from Philadelphia International Airport to her destination wedding in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in August 2015 when a flight attendant conspired with co-workers to stain her gown with red wine.

According to court documents obtained by the Courier-Post, Oteh was first told to remove her gown from a checked bag at the Philadelphia airport, after a ticketing agent explained that there would be room to hang the dress on the aircraft. Upon boarding, however, a flight attendant claimed this would be impossible, and even grew “indignant and agitated” at Oteh’s request.

Oteh was instead told to store the dress in an overhead bin. After finding an empty one in first-class, she returned to her section to sit with her soon-to-be-husband, Chidi — who, like Oteh, had just completed law school. But during the flight, Oteh and Chidi allegedly saw the flight attendant reopen the bin while conversing with two of her co-workers.

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“It was [Oteh’s] belief that the flight attendants were placing something in the bin and making fun of [Oteh] and her wedding gown,” reads the lawsuit, per the Courier-Post.

Upon arriving in Jamaica, the lawsuit claims Oteh’s dress was covered with wine stains, to the point that Oteh couldn’t even look at it without becoming “emotionally distraught” and forcing her to cancel planned events with her guests.

She and her family are now suing American Airlines for more than $300,000, for what they believe to be “willful and wanton” actions on the airline’s part.

Oteh’s mother, Yvette Sterling, who practices law in Cherry Hill and filed the suit on behalf of her daughter, added that “American Airlines and its personnel robbed us all of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

AMERICAN AIRLINES DENIES FLATULENCE INCIDENT AT RALEIGH-DURHAM AIRPORT

American Airlines confirmed they are “reviewing the lawsuit” in a statement released to Fox News, but did not provide additional information.

Oteh and Sterling were not immediately available to comment.



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NY police seize veteran's guns after order deems him, wrongfully, as 'mentally defective'


Don Hall and his girlfriend were sitting in their living room earlier this year when they noticed police lights flashing outside the couple’s upstate New York home.

When the 70-year-old Army veteran greeted Oneida County sheriff’s deputies he was given a document saying that Hall had to hand over his six guns – four long guns and two pistols — to law enforcement because he had been deemed “mentally defective.”

Shocked, Hall told the police he had no history of mental issues. The deputies asserted that he must have triggered the order under New York state’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, and then the officers left with his guns.

More on this…

“I’ve never been in trouble in my whole life and never done anything” to warrant this.

The so-called SAFE Act, which was implemented in 2013 in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut, includes a provision that allows heath care providers to report patients that they think may be a risk to themselves or others.

In Hall’s case, however, the sheriff’s deputies were wrong. He hadn’t triggered an order under the SAFE Act.

New York’s Office of Mental Health found that Hall’s case originated with a report to the system set up under the federal government’s Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act – a law that includes a provision making it mandatory that a hospital or other medical facility report anyone who is involuntarily committed or has been ruled mentally defective by a court or similar legal body.

Hall hired a lawyer and – after receiving a number of affidavits proving he hadn’t been treated for mental illness – convinced a judge that a hospital worker must have confused him with someone else and got his guns back.

Hall’s plight is just one of a number of cases across the U.S. where provisions in federal and state laws meant to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill people and criminals have actually led to mistaken seizures of weapons by law enforcement.

In April, a California family has won a fight forcing the return of 500 firearms seized by the state’s Department of Justice two years ago.

The weapons were confiscated on a report that Albert Sheakalee was barred from owning guns because he was in the state’s Armed Prohibited Persons database.

His attorney, Mark Coleman, said Sheakalee did not know that he was in the database. Sheakalee maintained the Justice Department broke a promise to keep the raid confidential until a court hearing determined whether he was mentally fit to own guns.

The California case was followed by one in June where a New York court sided with a woman whose guns were picked up by law enforcement five years earlier.

A panel of judges in the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s decision that there is no apparent reason why Christine Panzella shouldn’t receive a hearing to get her firearms returned by Nassau County Sheriff’s Department. Panzella had her guns seized in 2012 by the agency, while she was the subject of a protective order filed by her ex-husband.

“Such a hearing would provide Panzella with a timely and inexpensive forum to challenge the County’s retention of her long arms,” wrote Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi.

And it’s not just modern weapons that are being seized either.

In 2010, Michael Roberts surrendered 21 firearms that were family heirlooms to the Torrance Police Department.

The court order was the result of a dispute Roberts had with a member of the doctor’s staff and, after Roberts pleaded no contest, the matter was resolved. Yet, even though he filed the proper Law Enforcement Gun Release paperwork on four separate occasions, obtained clearance from the California Department of Justice and obtained two court orders for the return of his guns, police refused to hand them over.

With the backing of the National Rifle Association and California Rifle and Pistol Association, Roberts filed a federal lawsuit in May 2014, over the $15,500 worth of firearms. In the end he got the money, but not the guns. The police had had them destroyed.

“NRA and CRPA constantly get calls from law abiding people having problems getting their guns back,” said Chuck Michel of Long Beach-based Michel & Associates, which represented Roberts in the case. “The state Department of Justice wrongly tells police not to give guns back unless the person can document ownership of the gun and it is registered in the state DOJ’s database. But the law doesn’t require this.”

Malia Zimmerman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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‘Hungover’ Sydney man admits to scalding baby in hot bath while smoking, charging phone


A Sydney man pleaded guilty Tuesday to severely burning his girlfriend’s 10-month-old son in a bathtub filled with hot water — and leaving the baby unattended so the man could smoke a cigarette and charge his cellphone.

The baby suffered burns to 40 percent of his body and spent 26 days in Westmead Hospital recovering from the November 2015 incident, ABC Australia reported.

Altare Tepania, 24, was looking after the child while the baby’s mother was shopping, according to a statement from prosecutors and defense lawyers obtained by News Corp Australia. After the child vomited, Tepania put him in the bath to wash off.

MICHIGAN MOTHER CHARGED WITH KILLING BABY BOY

“I put him in the f****** shower and I didn’t turn the cold on; I only turned the hot on. I left,” Tepania reportedly told police at the scene. “I went and put my phone on charge. I had a smoke too.”

“I don’t know what I was thinking,” he said. “I don’t know…not thinking straight today.”

After hearing the baby screaming, Tepania returned to the bathroom to find the child lying on his back under the scalding tap with his skin peeling off, according to the statement.

Tepania picked the infant up out of the bath by one arm and dropped him on the tile floor, fracturing his elbow and causing injuries to his face and head. He then took the baby to the bedroom and poured cups of cold water on the baby.

BABY LEFT IN SMOKE SHOP PARKING LOT

He also tried feeding the screaming infant a bottle of formula but when the baby spat it out, Tepania forced it into the child’s mouth with such force the baby’s mouth bled. Court documents say Tepania also struck the boy at least once.

When the boy’s mother returned home shortly after, she said Tepania had a strange look on his face and told her not to call for help. Ignoring him, she put the baby in a cold bath and called emergency responders.

Tepania later told police he was hungover “really bad,” and was a “10” on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the most hungover. He said he had been drinking and also tested positive for methamphetamine.

Since the incident, the baby has healed without scarring and there aren’t likely to be long-term effects, according to court documents.

Tepania was supposed to face trial Tuesday but instead he pleaded guilty to two charges of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The original charges carried a maximum 25-year sentence, but, after reaching a deal with prosecutors, Tepania’s sentence was reduced to 15 years.

Tepania is due back in court in October.



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‘Frankenstein’ dino discovery


The legendary Bigfoot is often described as the “missing link” between apes and man, but the Chilesaurus has an edge on Bigfoot: it is the missing link between herbivore dinosaurs and their carnivorous brethren.

In a new study done by the University of Cambridge, Chilesaurus, which lived 150 million years ago, scientists now believe the dinosaur is an early member of the “Ornithischia,” a “bird-hipped” group that includes dinosaurs such as the Stegosaurus and Iguanadon.

Researchers found that the Chilesaurus has the same inverted hip structure of the Ornithischia group, which aids in complex digestive systems. But it also lacks the beak Ornithischia dinosaurs used for eating. 

NEWFOUND DINOSAUR LOOKS LIKE THE CREEPY LOVE CHILD OF A TURKEY AND AN OSTRICH

“Chilesaurus almost looks like it was stitched together from different animals, which is why it baffled everybody,” said Matthew Baron, a doctoral student in Cambridge University’s Department of Earth Sciences and the paper’s joint first author, in a statement.

The dino, which has been described as ‘Frankenstein’s monster,’ confused scientists because it had a head that “resembles that of a carnivore, but it has flat teeth for grinding up plant matter,” according to a press release, discussing the findings.

The researchers analyzed more than 450 anatomical characteristics of early dinosaurs to come up with the placement. 

Chilesaurus originally belonged to the group Theropoda, ‘lizard-hipped’ group of dinosaurs which includes Tyrannosaurus rex.

“Before this, there were no transitional specimens – we didn’t know what order these characteristics evolved in,” Baron added. “This shows that in bird-hipped dinosaurs, the gut evolved first, and the jaws evolved later – it fills the gap quite nicely.”

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“Chilesaurus is one of the most puzzling and intriguing dinosaurs ever discovered,” said co-author Professor Paul Barrett of the Natural History Museum in London. “Its weird mix of features places it in a key position in dinosaur evolution and helps to show how some of the really big splits between the major groups might have come about.”

The latest findings were published in the journal Biology Letters.



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Girl banned from waterslide


A 12-year-old girl with Type 1 Diabetes says she was not permitted to ride the water slides at a public water park in Kettering because of the insulin pump attached to her body.

Mom Beth McBride claims the city of Kettering broke the law by violating the Americans With Disabilities Act, while city and waterpark officials are not yet commenting on the issue.

“She was in tears and upset, as she has every right to be, I mean she was discriminated against basically,” McBride told Fox 45.

She snapped a picture of daughter Alexis looking defeated right after she was denied a ride on one of the waterslides at the “adventure reef waterpark.”

12-year-old Alexis said a lifeguard told her the reason she could not ride was the insulin pump attached to her right hip.

“It was that one slide and that one lifeguard, that when I walked up there she pointed at my insulin pump and said you cannot go on the slide with that on,” Alexis said.

Alexis said the pump makes her insecure and this was the first occasion that she had worn a two-piece bathing suit and exposed it in public.

“It’s completely true bliss, the insulin is actually in a chamber here,” McBride said showing Fox 45 the small external pump, “it’s made to be worn in water parks, it’s made to be worn in the ocean, in showers and bathtubs, she’s allowed to wear it.”

McBride related it to having Alexis’ pancreas functioning outside her body. She said if it is removed, Alexis could die.

McBride also said the lifeguard did not explain the reason behind asking Alexis to remove the pump.

“I said do you realize that’s an ADA violation, she has a medical handicap, the insulin pump cannot be removed,” McBride said.

According to title three of the Americans With Disabilities Act, “providers of public accommodations must provide you with services that are not any different from those they provide people without a disability. They must not screen out or exclude you because of your disability.”

More from Fox 45 Now

McBride took her concern about the violation to park managers who she says took an incident report Monday night.

“She should be able to wear a medical devices with pride,” McBride said.

“I’m not as different as everybody else is and I shouldn’t be singled out from everybody else that’s having fun,” said Alexis.

McBride said she wanted to raise awareness for Type 1 Diabetes related issues and wants to make sure this does not happen to anyone else at any catering facilities.

This article originally appeared on Fox 45 Now



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From crop duster to combat


Crop dusters regularly fly the skies above America’s heartland, but this combat crop duster is unlike anything Americans have ever seen.

This plane is loaded up with weapons and fortified with armor to take the fight to America’s enemies and help protect U.S. forces on the ground.

L3’s Aerospace Systems worked with Air Tractor to transform the classic crop duster into a combat crop duster ready to strike.

Dubbed Longsword, they’ve taken Air Tractor’s AT-802 crop duster and modified it for attack, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

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What sort of modifications? The cockpit is armored – and so are the fuel lines. In fact, the fuel tanks are self-sealing. The wings have been made stronger and equipped to carry some serious firepower into combat…and these are just a few of the enhancements.

The U.S. Air Force has selected Longsword to participate in the ongoing, innovative Light Attack Experiment, or OA-X.

Currently, the Air Force is putting it through a series of tests to see just what it can do at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

Longsword is almost like a flying version of the iconic rugged, versatile, off-roading truck seen on farms throughout America –one with lots of weapons ready to take on some tough jobs.

What kind of weapons would this modified crop duster bring to the fight?

The Longsword can provide four weapon hard points per wing that can be loaded up with all sorts of weapons to defeat a range of threats.

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One option is highly precise hellfire missiles that can eliminate an individual terrorist or even penetrate advanced armor on vehicles.

A few other powerful options include BU-12 Paveways laser guided bombs, 2.75” rocket pods and machine gun pods.

Longsword could also unleash 500 pounder, seven-and-a-half foot Mark 82 unguided general purpose bombs to devastate enemy forces.

There’s also Thales’ Scorpion Helmet Mounting Cueing System that means that pilots can use their head to precisely steer weapons and sensor cueing. Targets can be acquired super quickly and then rapidly handed-off to sensors and weapons.

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There’s also an integrated mission operator station with L3 ForceX Widow mission management system – another feature that you don’t see every day in the average cropduster.

Why would the US military need combat crop dusters?

The 16,000-pounder genuinely has potential to add a heck of a lot to the fight.

As a light attack aircraft, it could step in to provide air support to American military teams on the ground. It could free up more advanced aircraft like the F-35 to take on other missions.

Longsword harnesses the powerful Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67AG turbine engine to race into action.

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Say for example, a U.S. Army Special Forces team is pinned down by Islamic extremists on a mission. Air Force pilots could rapidly fly in to support them with some serious firepower at speeds reaching 200 mph.

What exactly can the Longsword do?

In addition to reaching forces who need help quickly, another great advantage is that this weaponized crop duster an land with as little as 1,000 yards of runway. And it doesn’t need a formal airport runway to land.

Dirt roads and tiny airstrips in remote, hard-to-reach places are all fair game. This flexibility is important – the Longsword can land, refuel, reload and rejoin the fight.

When the aircraft is reloaded with water to fight fires, the turnaround time to load a full 820 gallons can be less than five minutes.

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What if a light attack aircraft could rendezvous with a team in a remote location close to forces who need help then reload, refuel and return to the air and the fight in under five minutes?

Minutes matter in close air support situations because a minute can mean the difference between life and death for U.S. forces.

While reloading the weapons and fuel may take a bit longer, the turnaround could be just as remarkably fast.

Anytime, just about anywhere

The aircraft also provides versatility in the air.

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Even though crop dusters might bring to mind flat vast farming fields, this combat crop duster is actually well suited to tackle challenging war zone terrains like mountainous regions.

With lots of agility, it can deliver speedy climbs, tackle narrow flight corridors and fly close and low while maneuvering deep ravines and accessing steep ridge lines.

Longsword could quickly reach ground forces under attack and then when it reaches the area, it can slow and unload some serious firepower. 

And for gathering of critical day from the air, Longsword also has lots of state of the art tech, like an MX-15 EO/IR sensor.

Allison Barrie is a defense specialist with experience in more than 70 countries who consults at the highest levels of defense and national security, a lawyer with four postgraduate degrees, and author of the definitive guide, Future Weapons: Access Granted, on sale in 30 countries.  Barrie hosts the new hit podcast “Tactical Talk”  where she gives listeners direct access to the most fascinating Special Operations warriors each week and to find out more about the FOX Firepower host and columnist you can click here or follow her on Twitter @allison_barrie and Instagram @allisonbarriehq.

 



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Di: Prince Philip allegations


Though Princess Diana is gone, she is far from forgotten — worldwide tributes are expected later this month for the 20th anniversary of the death of “The People’s Princess.”

Diana Frances Spencer was just 36 years old when she died in 1997 at a Paris hospital following a car crash.

The crash took place early on Aug. 31, 1997, in Paris, France, after Diana and her boyfriend, 42-year-old Dodi Fayed, had left the Ritz in the French capital.

There were four people traveling in a Mercedes S280: driver Henri Paul, who was the acting head of security for the Ritz, bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, the front passenger, and Diana and Fayed in the backseat.

While attempting to elude paparazzi, the Mercedes hit a pillar in the Pont d’Alma tunnel. Fayed and Paul both died at the scene. Diana was taken to a hospital, where she died around 4 a.m. Rees-Jones was injured yet survived.

Both French and British authorities determined the crash to be an accident.

“The vehicle’s driver was in a state of drunkenness and under the influence of medication incompatible with alcohol, a state that prevented him from keeping control of his vehicle when he was driving at high speed,” French magistrates wrote in a 1999 judicial report.

In the United Kingdom, the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Paget, a probe into the incident, began in 2004. The Paget report, which was more than 800 pages long and examined conspiracy claims, was published in December 2006.

“Our conclusion is that, on all the evidence available at this time, there was no conspiracy to murder any of the occupants of the car. This was a tragic accident,” Lord John Stevens, the former Metropolitan Police commissioner who led the inquiry, wrote in an overview.

An inquest took place in the U.K. from October 2007 until April 2008, when a jury ruled that Diana and Fayed were unlawfully killed through the reckless actions of their driver and paparazzi. The jury added that the fact Diana and Fayed were not wearing seat belts was a contributing factor to their deaths.

PRINCESS DIANA HAD ‘A LONELY MISERABLE LIFE INSIDE THE PALACE,’ BIOGRAPHER CLAIMS

Despite the official rulings, conspiracy theories surrounding Diana’s death have persisted for years. Here are some of the popular ones.

Prince Philip allegations

Dodi Fayed’s father, Mohamed Al-Fayed, has claimed that Diana and Dodi were killed in a plot that was  “arranged for or carried out” by security services on behalf of Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, the Paget report said.

The motive, according to the report, would have been Diana being pregnant with Dodi Fayed’s child and that their engagement would soon be announced.

No proof of a connection between Prince Philip and the Secret Intelligence Service — also known as MI6 — was found in the Stevens inquiry, according to the BBC. Diana also wasn’t found to have been engaged or pregnant.

While leading the inquest, coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker rejected the conspiracy theory, and instructed the jury there was no evidence to support Al-Fayed’s claims the couple were victims of a murder plot directed by Prince Philip and carried out by British secret agents. The jury was not at liberty to disagree.

Former MI6 officer’s claims 

Former MI6 agent Richard Tomlinson told a newspaper following the car crash that Diana’s crash was similar to a supposed assassination plot against Serbian politician Slobodan Milosevic which involved a flashing light and a tunnel, the Guardian reported. 

Stevens wrote in his Paget overview that “we are confident that any theories concerning flashing lights inside the Alma underpass can be discounted as the cause of this crash.”  

The Stevens-led inquiry also found the former spy’s allegation that a flash blinded Diana’s driver Henri Paul to have been incorrect, according to the BBC.  

Tomlinson later gave testimony during the inquest, and reportedly acknowledged he may have gotten details of the supposed plan incorrect.

Former MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove also testified during the inquest, denying that MI6 killed Diana. Dearlove said there hadn’t been a plot to kill Milosevic, saying that there had been one against another Balkan leader, and that the plan was “killed stone dead,” according to the BBC.

PRINCESS DIANA’S SHOCKING RECORDINGS DEFENDED BY UK BROADCASTER

The Fiat Uno 

“We believe there was a glancing contact between the Mercedes, driven by Henri Paul, and a white Fiat Uno just before the Alma underpass,” Stevens wrote in his overview. The Fiat Uno, however, has never been recovered.

Stevens dismissed claims that a French photojournalist named James Andanson had been driving the vehicle and was a secret service agent.  

Andanson owned a white Fiat Uno, but had been with his wife at home the night of Aug. 30, 1997, and there was no evidence that he’d been with the secret service, Stevens wrote.

Andanson was later found in a burned-out vehicle in France in 2000, according to the Independent. French authorities determined it was a suicide, which Stevens said British authorities agreed with.

Two inquest witnesses would identify the white Fiat Uno driver as Vietnamese-born French citizen Le Van Thanh, according to the Telegraph.

Thanh sprayed his car red hours after the incident, his father Francois alleged to the Daily Mail in 2006.

Thanh didn’t attend the inquest, but has denied that he was the Fiat Uno driver, the newspaper reported. Stevens tried twice this year to contact Thanh, but Thanh has reportedly refused to speak with him.

Stevens told the Daily Mail, “What we have said to Mr. Thanh is, ‘We believe you were the driver of the Fiat. Talk us through what happened.’ We don’t blame him for the accident. My Paget report said that a Fiat Uno was involved but was not the cause of the crash. We are still trying to interview him.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



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Strange, Moore head to Alabama Senate runoff election: Who are they?


Two Republican Alabama Senate candidates survived Tuesday’s primary election and will head to a runoff – in one of the first tests of President Trump’s influence.

Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to finish out Jeff Sessions’ term when he was tapped as the U.S. attorney general, will face former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in a runoff.

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., came in third in the Republican primary.

Despite having Trump’s support, being buoyed by millions of dollars in advertising by a super political action committee tied to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Moore’s past controversies, Strange was unable to avoid a runoff. State law calls for a runoff if candidates are unable to get more than 50 percent of the vote.

Doug Jones, a former federal prosecutor, won the Democratic primary.

The runoff is scheduled for Sept. 26 with the special general election slated for Dec. 12. Here’s a look at the candidates.

Roy Moore

Called the “Ayatollah of Alabama” by critics who believe he too closely marries his political and judicial responsibilities with religion, Judge Roy Moore emerged as one of two Republicans headed to a runoff next month – and he was at the head of the pack.

He was twice removed from Alabama’s Supreme Court. Moore was removed from the bench the first time, in 2003, after he disobeyed a federal judge’s order to remove a boulder-sized Ten Commandments monument from the statehouse; he was permanently suspended last year after he told probate judges they remained under a state court order to deny marriage licenses to gay couples.

TRUMP MAKES FINAL PUSH FOR STRANGE IN ALABAMA SENATE RACE

Moore used those controversies to boost his support among conservative evangelicals while campaigning, and he told Republican voters that those cases were akin to battle scars for standing up for what he believes. On his campaign website, Moore said he was suspended for “upholding the sanctity of marriage as between one man and one woman.”

More than 50 pastors signed on to a letter endorsing Moore.

Tuesday night, Moore told cheering supporters that they had sent a great message to Washington, D.C., in a race where he presented himself as the better carrier of Trump’s outsider appeal.

“This is a great victory. The attempt by the silk stocking Washington elitists to control the vote of the people of Alabama has failed,” Moore said at his victory party at the RSA Activity Center in Montgomery, with a copy of the Ten Commandments among the decorations.

Moore, who rode a horse to the polls to vote, advocated for using the military to protect the country’s southern border, immediately repealing ObamaCare and making homosexuality against military policy on his campaign website.

He also is opposed to abortion, federal funding to Planned Parenthood, same-sex marriage, civil unions and “all other threats to the traditional family order.”

TRUMP RILES CONSERVATIVE MEDIA ALLIES WITH ALABAMA SENATE PRIMARY PICK

Infamous “Walker, Texas Ranger” star Chuck Norris endorsed Moore for the Senate and said he is the “real deal.”

“The Washington establishment knows they won’t be able to count on him, but Alabama voters can,” Norris said. “Judge Moore has never backed down from standing for what is right, and that’s exactly what he’ll do in the U.S Senate.”

The Senate Leadership Fund worked to discredit Moore and ran negative ads about the judge.

Luther Strange

Despite being backed by GOP senators and President Trump, Luther Strange failed to avoid a runoff and came in second to Judge Roy Moore.

Strange, who was tapped by Alabama’s governor to finish out Sessions’ term, was the state’s attorney general and had joined a lawsuit against the Obama administration that challenged the former president’s executive order on amnesty for undocumented immigrants.

Strange – sometimes called “Big Luther” because of his 6-foot-9-inch frame – supports repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act and calls for immediate deportation of criminal illegal immigrants and the construction of a border wall, according to his campaign website.

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Aside from the president, Strange also racked up endorsements from the National Rifle Association of America, National Right to Life and the Alabama Farmers Federation.

Although a favorite of the establishment, Strange’s struggles raised concerns among GOP members of Congress, even if he does ultimately survive the runoff election next month.

“There are probably a number of incumbents on both sides of the aisle who should take notice of another demonstration that voters still want change,” Greg Strimple, a Republican pollster for a political action committee aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan, told the Associated Press.

“The takeaway is that Washington is very unpopular,” Strimple said, and that overrides even Trump’s endorsement, because he cannot simply “transfer his brand” to candidates, like the lobbyist-turned-politician Strange, who fail to establish their own outsider credentials.

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Strange emphasized Trump’s endorsement while addressing his supporters Tuesday at the Aloft Hotel in Homewood, Ala.

“He knows that I’m the person in the race who is going to help him make this country great again,” Strange said, invoking the president’s infamous campaign slogan. “It all boils down to who’s best suited to stand with the people of this country – with our president – to make America great again.”

Senate Leadership Fund President and CEO Steven Law congratulated “Big Luther Strange” for eking out at least a partial victory Tuesday and “positioning himself well for the runoff.”

“We are proud to have strongly supported President Trump’s number-one ally in this race, and we believe the president’s support will be decisive as we head into the next phase of this campaign, which Senator Strange will win in September,” Law said in a statement.

Trump tweeted his congratulations to both Strange and Moore Wednesday morning and touted the election as an “exciting race.”

Doug Jones

A former U.S. attorney during the Clinton administration, Jones beat out seven other Democrats to secure the party’s nomination.

Jones has been openly critical of Trump – particularly when it comes to Trump’s wish to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate change agreement – and picked up key endorsements from liberal lawmakers.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed Jones last week and loaned his voice to robocalls made to voters.

“Doug Jones will make a great U.S. senator so please make sure you get out and vote on Tuesday – and I’m hoping you’ll vote for my friend, Doug Jones,” Biden said.

Jones was also endorsed by Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga., Cedric Richmond, D-La., and Terri Sewell, D-Ala.

While a Republican candidate is widely expected to win the seat, Alabama Democrats are reportedly feeling optimistic about their candidate.

Jones is perhaps best known for successfully prosecuting two members of the Ku Klux Klan accused of bombing a Birmingham church in 1963 that killed four little girls.

His campaign website touts his progressive ideals and plans for health care reform and protecting Planned Parenthood.

“The shenanigans around the 2016 campaign must be pushed aside and full equality for women made the law and the norm in America,” Jones said on his website.

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Standing before his supporters at Five Bar in Birmingham Tuesday, Jones recalled defeating Klansmen in court.

“All my life I have been trying to work with folks to make sure people have equal opportunities – they’re treated fairly, they’re treated the same under the law, they’re treated with dignity and respect,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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