FAA probes near miss
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement yesterday that a Delta Airlines Boeing 747 arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport came close to a Shuttle America Embraer E170 departing from LaGuardia Airport around 3:45pm on June 13. The aircraft were “turning away from each other at the point where they lost the required separation,” the FAA said. Both aircraft landed safely.
Two die in fireworks blast
Two people were killed after a series of explosions at a fireworks factory near Montreal early on Thursday which flattened the building. Fireworks could be seen popping in the smoke billowing from the warehouse in Coteau-du-lac, Quebec, 50km southwest of Montreal, for nearly three hours after an initial spark at about 9am local time. The noise from the blasts could also be heard from several kilometers away, according to reports, before about 150 firefighters managed to get the blaze under control. The two dead are believed to be employees of fireworks maker BEM. Authorities are still trying to determine what caused the fire, Quebec police spokeswoman Joyce Kemp said. Dozens of people meanwhile were evacuated from nearby homes and a campground as a precaution after the fire erupted. A highway connecting Montreal and Toronto was also closed, as was a train line linking Montreal to Ottawa.
Governor can deny execution
A US governor can deny the execution of a death row inmate who wants to die, a court ruled on Thursday. Oregon’s governor opposes the death penalty and intervened weeks before Gary Haugen was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection in 2011. Governor John Kitzhaber has vowed to block any execution during his term in office and urged a statewide vote on abolishing the death penalty. More than half of US states still have the death penalty, but officials have mixed feelings about it. Haugen, who was convicted of two murders, has said his reprieve was invalid because he refused to accept it. The governor argued that his clemency power is absolute, and nobody — certainly not an inmate on death row — can prevent him from doing what he believes to be in the state’s best interest. Oregon has executed two inmates since voters reinstated the death penalty in 1984. Both, like Haugen, waived their appeals in the late 1990s. Kitzhaber, who was governor then, declined to intervene — a decision he now regrets.