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Monday, 30 March 2015

Man rescued from sinkhole in McKeesport after he calls 911

Rescuers pulled a man from a sinkhole that opened up on the Mansfield Bridge in McKeesport on Saturday night.

West Fifth Avenue below the bridge was closed, McKeesport Deputy Fire Chief Don Sabol said. Authorities also stopped train traffic during the rescue, he said. The cause of the sinkhole was not immediately known, Sabol said.

According to a tweet sent out by Western PA Fire News, confined space rescue was needed and the man was about ten feet down into the hole. The man was carried off on a stretcher and flown to an area hospital after firefighters rescued him. The incident was reported by emergency dispatchers around 7:30 p.m., when the man called 911 himself, after falling in the hole.

The man is in his forties and was walking to meet a friend at the Marathon gas station in McKeesport, when he fell. Officials are still investigating, what caused the sinkhole.

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 6.5 - 99km ENE of Hihifo, Tonga

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One Dead, One Injured After Minivan and Police SUV Collide at Entrance to NSA

Fort Meade, Maryland – A shooting reportedly broke out at the NSA this morning after a car crash involving a police vehicle and a van that seems to have belonged to a civilian. One person on the scene has been reported dead, and at least two others were rushed to the emergency room to be treated for unknown injuries. It was reported that there was at least one police officer among those injured.

The Anne Arundel County Police Department and Fire Department responded to the scene, but neither are able to make any statements on the incident because it occurred on NSA property.

From the details that have been made available thus far, we can determine that a vehicle, possibly belonging to a civilian, approached the NSA headquarters sometime around 9:30 AM on Monday Morning.

The vehicle was then involved in a crash with a police vehicle that was within the gates of the government site. According to police, the approaching vehicle attempted to ram the gates and struck one of their vehicles, which prompted officers on the scene to begin opening fire.

Screenshot from Google Maps

From the photos that have been posted by the media, it seems that the two cars were involved in a head-on collision, with the front ends of both vehicles showing signs of heavy damage.

It is assumed that the person who was killed was the one driving the vehicle, although that has not been directly confirmed by Fort Meade spokeswoman, Mary Doyle, who reported the death and injuries to the media.

Earlier this year, a man was arrested for allegedly firing shots at the NSA headquarters, and local police agencies have been quick to announce that these cases do not seem related.

US readies $5bn for anti-China orbital defense weaponry

The U.S. is planning to splash out up to 5-billion dollars on orbital defense. One of the key reasons behind the spending spree, according to Washington, is a potential threat from China.

[embedded content]

From time-honored Star Wars to modern-day guardians of the galaxy the powers of space have fired the imagination of movie directors for decades. Well space combat could be coming from cinemas screens to real-life much faster than the may have thought and here's why.

"The threat in space I fundamentally believe is a real one and it's been demonstrated so we have to be ready for any campaign that extends its way into space," says Cecil D. Haney,US Strategic Commander and Navy Admiral.

The US is planning to splash up to five billion dollars on orbital defense. Washington cites a potential threat from China as one of the key reasons behind the budget boost. Beijing is believed to have conducted at least three anti-satellite test that sparked fears in the US but not everyone agrees that China poses a plausible threat.

Bruce Gagnon, Co-ordinator of The Global Network Against Weapons: "I don't think China immediately is a threat to US satellites but I do believe that China is developing new capabilities to be able to knockout a US military satellite in times of warfare. The United States is absolutely reliant on the eyes in the sky military satellites to fight its wars today. China is aware of that and so China is trying to develop that capability in a way that could back off the United States."

As a matter of fact, Washington has quite an anti-satellite program of its own. America's first successful shooting of a satellite happened as far back as 1985 with the most recent one in 2008. Its and if you thought the edge is gone from Washington's space race ambitions well think again. US has had its eye firmly on the competition and are afraid of losing their advantage.

Bruce Gagnon thinks America's simply looking for a pretext to satisfy its military ambition. "The United States and Israel at the United Nations are blocking a treaty called Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space that is annually introduced by China and Russia. So clearly the United States resists the development and new treaties in the United Nations because they don't wanna be inhibited, they don't wanna be stopped from taking full control of space."

Indian warplanes go missing during upgrade in Ukraine – report

A soldier stands guard as an Indian Air Force AN-32 transport aircraft carrying security personnel takes-off from the technical airport in Jammu. (Reuters / Amit Gupta)

The Indian Air Force sent 40 An-32s to Ukraine to be upgraded at the Kiev-based state-owned Antonov plant under a 2009 service contract. But the last five of them have become “untraceable,” an Indian Air Force official told Defense News.

Another 64 An-32 had to be upgraded locally, but Ukrainian engines tasked with the job departed and the supply of spare parts stopped, he added.

"These five aircraft are almost lost as it is difficult to trace them and diplomatic efforts to find their whereabouts have failed," the anonymous official is quoted as saying.

Earlier Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said the last batch of An-32s sent to Ukraine for upgrade had been “stuck” there due to the ongoing crisis, Economic Times reported.

The contract to upgrade India’s fleet of An-32 is worth $400 million and was expected to run through 2017. The goal is to increase the aircraft life expectancy from 25 to 40 years and provide it with improved avionics, a modernized cockpit and an increase in capacity from 6.7 to 7.5 tons.

"As AN-32 formed the bulk of the medium-lift segment of the transport fleet, urgent replacement of the Avro fleet, finalization of the joint development of medium transport aircraft and possible fresh purchases are some of the options which IAF will need to work on an urgent basis," commented retired Air Force wing commander Bhim Singh.

The military news website contacted the Ukrainian embassy, which said Antonov must resolve this issue with the Indian Air Force on its own. The company would not comment on the issue.

India and Russia are developing a medium-lift transport plane called UAC/HAL Il-214, which would replace the aging An-32 fleet. Russia's UAC and Hindustan Aeronautics have established a joint venture for the purpose, but the project is progressing slowly due to issues relating to production work sharing.

Ukraine is undergoing a period of political and economic turbulence in the wake of the armed coup, which deposed President Viktor Yanukovich last year and imposed an anti-Russian government in Kiev. The new elected government is pursuing a policy of severing economic ties with Russia, adversely affecting some industries like the defense sector in both countries, which were historically interlinked.

The Indian An-32 upgrade by Ukrainians involves shipment of parts from Russia.