Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday awarded the nation's highest medal, the Hero of Russia, to the pilot who managed to smoothly land his disabled passenger plane in a cornfield after a flock of birds hit both engines and knocked them out. The experienced captain, 41-year-old Damir Yusupov, said Friday that a quick landing was his only chance and he was not afraid of handling it. Putin also awarded the Hero of Russia to the plane's second pilot, 23-year-old Georgy Murzin and bestowed other top awards on the plane's cabin cre
A man put to death in the US state of Tennessee on Thursday for murdering a woman and her daughter chose in his final hours to be electrocuted rather than executed by lethal injection, prison officials said. Stephen West, who was convicted in the two killings more than 30 years ago, waited until Wednesday to choose his method of execution -- one day after Tennessee's Republican Governor Bill Lee refused his request for clemency. "After thorough consideration of Stephen West's request for clemency and a review of the case, the State of Tennessee's sentence will stand, and I will not be intervening," he said in a statemen
A woman cheated death when she fell nearly a mile to the ground after her parachute and emergency back-up apparently both failed to open.Witnesses who saw her plunge nearly 5000ft to the ground said it was a miracle she wasn’t killed.She hit a clump of trees, breaking her fall, and escaped with only fractured bones, including broken vertebrae.Police Quebec in Canada are investigating whether there was any criminal negligence.After jumping from the plane at a skydiving centre in Trois-Rivieres, the woman escaped with her life by hitting a wooded area.Denis Demers, who saw her fall, told Radio-Canada: "It’s a miracle. I don’t know how a person can survive a fall from an airplane like that."He said it appeared that neither the main parachute nor the emergency back-up had opened.Police told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that the 30-year-old parachutist, who has not yet been identified, was an experienced skydiver.She was admitted to hospital but her life was not in danger, they said.Another witness, Oceane Duplessis, said she was getting ready to get on another plane when she saw the woman."We watched all the way to the end. We kept hoping something would happen," she said. "We were very worried. Very."According to Scienceabc.com, a person without a parachute will fall at a typical speed of 120mph – or 60 metres (196ft) a second.The skydive company, which is reported to be investigating, has been contacted for commen
Germany expects a No Deal Brexit and is not prepared to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement, according to leaked details of an internal briefing paper for Angela Merkel’s government. The leaked paper is the first evidence that Germany may be preparing to let Britain walk away with No Deal rather than back down to Boris Johnson’s demand to drop the Irish backstop. The paper was prepared by civil servants for the German finance minister, Olaf Scholz, ahead of face-to-face talks with the chancellor of the exchequer, Sajid Javid, in Berlin on Friday. In public, Mr Scholz has said Germany will do everything it can to secure a deal with the UK. But according to details leaked to the usually reliable Handelsblatt newspaper, the briefing paper calls for the European Union to stick to its previous line of refusing to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement. It warns that there is now a “high probability” of a No Deal Brexit on October 31, but says the EU must not "lose its nerve". Preparations by Germany and the rest of the EU-27 to manage the impact of No Deal are “largely complete”, and the European Commission is not planning any further emergency measures, it says. Mr Javid is the first senior minister from the Johnson government to hold face-to-face talks with his German counterpart Credit: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP The paper says it is “currently unforeseeable that Prime Minister Johnson will change his tough negotiating position” and predicts that he may use next weekend’s G7 summit in Biarritz for a “big moment” to announce success or failure in negotiations. “Against this background, it is important from the EU perspective to stick to the previous line” of refusing to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement, it says, adding that even if the EU were to agree to drop the Irish backstop, it is not clear that Mr Johnson would be able to win approval for a revised withdrawal agreement in parliament. The UK has made repeated attempts to split the EU side, and “the EU-27’s unity in adhering to the negotiated exit agreement” has been “decisive”, the paper says. Germany has already passed more than 50 laws and measures to deal with the impact of a No Deal Brexit, and the paper provides details of arrangements in the finance ministry’s area of tax and banking. It cites a transitional agreement between the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and BaFin, the German financial regulator on cross-border financial services, and says German customes authorities are prepared for the increased workload expected under No Dea
Drones launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels attacked a massive oil and gas field deep inside Saudi Arabia's sprawling desert on Saturday, causing what the kingdom described as a "limited fire" in the second such recent attack on its crucial energy industry. The attack on the Shaybah oil field, which produces some 1 million barrels of crude oil a day near the kingdom's border with the United Arab Emirates, again shows the reach of the Houthis' drone program. Shaybah sits some 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) from Houthi-controlled territory, underscoring the rebels' ability to now strike at both nations, which are mired in Yemen's yearslong wa
A far-right rally and leftist counter-demonstration in the city of Portland, Oregon wrapped up Saturday amid a heavy police presence with no major incidents, following fears that violent clashes would break out. President Donald Trump had tweeted that the city was "being watched very carefully. Police were out in force, keeping the opposing camps apart as demonstrators converged on a waterfront par
Mexican authorities arrested a U.S. citizen suspected of supporting militant Islamists in an example of Mexico's security cooperation with the United States even as the two neighbors grapple with sharp disagreements over trade and migration. The unidentified American man sought by Interpol was under investigation for supporting terrorist groups and will be deported to the United States later on Friday, the Mexico's attorney general's office said in a statement. The man was detained at a migrants office near Mexico's border with Guatemala in the town of Huehuetan with the help of officials from Mexico's National Migration Institut
The Isis fighter known as Jihadi Jack has been stripped of his British citizenship, prompting a diplomatic row between the UK and Canada, it has been reported. Muslim convert Jack Letts, 24, who had held dual UK and Canadian citizenship, declared he was an "enemy of Britain" after travelling from Oxfordshire to Syria at the age of 18 to join the terror group. He has begged to be allowed to return to the UK, insisting he had "no intention" of killing Britons, after he was captured by Kurdish forces in 2017. The Home Office has now stripped Letts of British citizenship, meaning he is the responsibility of the Canadian government, The Mail on Sunday said. It was reportedly one of the last actions of Theresa May’s administration. Isil Rise and fall of a caliphate The decision is understood to have angered officials in Ottawa, prompting fears of a row between Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Boris Johnson when they meet at the G7 summit in France next weekend. Letts, who travelled to the Middle East in 2014, is now among more than 120 dual nationals who have been stripped of their British citizenship since 2016, including Isis bride Shamima Begum. Ms Begum was one of three girls from Bethnal Green, east London, who left the UK aged just 15 in February 2015 and travelled to Syria to join Islamic State. It was thought Ms Begum may have a claim in Bangladesh because of her family background, something Bangladeshi officials denied. The move can only be made against people with two passports, because international law prevents the Government from making anyone "stateless". John Letts and Sally Lane, the parents of a Muslim convert dubbed Jihadi Jack Credit: PA It will come as a blow to Lett's parents, Sally Lane and John Letts, who were found guilty at the Old Bailey in June of funding terrorism and given 12-month sentences suspended for 15 months. In an interview after their conviction, they said: "Jack is still a British citizen and we have pleaded with the Government to help us to bring him to safety, even if that meant that he might be prosecuted in the UK." A Home Office spokesman said: "This power is one way we can counter the terrorist threat posed by some of the most dangerous individuals and keep our country safe." In an interview with ITV earlier this year, Letts said he felt British and that he wanted to return to the UK, but admitted he did not think that would be likely. "I'm not going to say I'm innocent. I'm not innocent. I deserve what comes to me. But I just want it to be... appropriate... not just haphazard, freestyle punishment in Syria," he told the broadcaster. Struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder and Tourette's when he was at school, Jack converted to Islam at the age of 16. He used to attend the Bengali mosque in Cowley Road, Oxford, before he came into contact with men with a more radical ideology. Jack has previously admitted he was at one time prepared to carry out a suicide attack, telling the BBC: "I used to want to at one point, believe it or not. Not a vest. I wanted to do it in a car. I said if there's a chance, I will do it." He also said in the interview, which took place in October last year but was not broadcast until after his parents' trial had ended, that he realised he had been "an enemy of Britain" but added that he had made "a big mistake"