By Alwyn Scott WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In the crucial minutes before an Asiana Airlines flight crashed in San Francisco last summer, the pilots voiced concern about the plane's low speed but did nothing to correct it until just before it hit the ground. The training pilot, Lee Jeong-min, and a third pilot, Bong Dongwon, who was in a jump seat in the cockpit, spoke about the plane's speed and "sink rate," or descent, about a minute before the plane hit the ground, according to a transcript of the cockpit voice recorder released on Wednesday.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California officials are considering whether to change a decades-old anti-crime regulation and allow prostitutes to receive money from a victim compensation fund if they're raped or beaten by a john or pimp.
The Russian Supreme Court has ordered a review of the guilty verdicts handed to two members of punk band Pussy Riot, three months before the pair are due to be released from prison, it said Thursday. The highest Russian court reviewed the appeal by jailed Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and ordered the Moscow court that jailed them in August 2012 to review its guilty verdicts. The two young women are serving two-year sentences in Russian penal colonies after being convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for performing an anti-Kremlin protest stunt in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. "The court did not provide any proof that Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were motivated by hatred toward any social group in its verdict," the Supreme Court said in a decision posted on its official website.
Members of a Rwandan Hutu militia in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo have been surrending in large numbers to U.N. peacekeepers trying to neutralize armed groups in the region, a senior U.N. official said on Wednesday. Congolese troops and the U.N. peacekeeping mission - which includes a unique Intervention Brigade mandated to eliminate armed groups in eastern Congo - have turned their attention to combating the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) after defeating the Tutsi-led M23 rebel group last month. Martin Kobler, head of the U.N. mission, said operations against the FDLR began on November 27. They were not involved in the 1994 genocide so it is easier for them also to surrender to us," Kobler told reporters after briefing the U.N. Security Council on the situation in Congo behind closed doors.
It takes quite the sales job to explain why a medically cleared Robert Griffin III won't play for the rest of the season. Embattled Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan realized that and gave it his best shot Wednesday, speaking passionately at times in a 28-minute news conference that included references to the team's ''circus atmosphere'' and insistences that the move isn't a ploy to get himself fired. The upshot is that Griffin will be the inactive third quarterback for the Redskins' final three games, behind starter Kirk Cousins and backup Rex Grossman. Shanahan's reasoning is that he fears Griffin, who has taken a pounding in recent weeks, will get hurt, and that would ruin the franchise player's offseason - a reversal of Shanahan's oft-stated position that Griffin needed as much game experience as possible and would play to the end of the season.
Pete Rose sounded bowled over. Charlie Hustle, who famously flattened Ray Fosse to score the winning run in the 1970 All-Star game, couldn't believe Major League Baseball intends to eliminate home-plate collisions by 2015 at the latest. ''What are they going to do next, you can't break up a double play?'' Rose said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press after MLB announced its plan Wednesday. Evidently the guys making all these rules never played the game of baseball.'' New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, chairman of the rules committee, made the announcement at the winter meetings, saying the change would go into effect for next season if the players' association approved.
Quarterback Jay Cutler looks just about ready to play for the Chicago Bears. For linebacker Lance Briggs, the wait might go on. Coach Marc Trestman is optimistic Cutler will return from an ankle injury this week against the Cleveland Browns. He was set to work with the receivers after Wednesday's walkthrough, and Trestman said the Bears will know Thursday if he's ready to start.
Aaron Rodgers took some first-team snaps in practice Wednesday, though the Packers' franchise quarterback still hasn't been cleared to play in a game. If that stands through the rest of week, backup Matt Flynn is back in for Rodgers when Green Bay visits the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in a game critical to both teams' playoff hopes. It's been a mixed bag of news this week for Packers fans anxious to find out when Rodgers will adorn the No. 12 jersey again in a game. The Packers are 1-4-1 since Rodgers fractured his left collarbone in a 27-20 loss Nov. 4 to the Bears, though they regained confidence following the come-from-behind, 22-21 victory last week over Atlanta.
Doc Rivers picked up another win in Boston. The coach who led the Celtics to the 2008 NBA title returned for the first time with the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night and beat Boston 96-88. Jamal Crawford scored 21 points, hitting a pair of 3-pointers 23 seconds apart to help the Clippers pull away in the final 3 minutes. ''It was just a really nice day,'' said Rivers, choking back tears in his postgame news conference.
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron says he doesn't believe coach Nick Saban will leave for Texas. McCarron made his comments in advance of Thursday's College Football Awards Show. That's my personal opinion,'' McCarron said Wednesday. But if I had a pick, I'd say he's not leaving.'' McCarron is up for the Maxwell Award as the nation's best overall player and the Davey O'Brien quarterback award Thursday.
Libra Martin, director of the Seneca County Victims Assistance Program, reads statements written by Tyeesha (Ferguson) Snowden and members of the Ferguson-Stowers family Friday morning during the sentencing hearing of Calvin B. Dixson in the Seneca County Court of Common Pleas.
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