News ID: 115731
Publish Date : 05 June 2023 - 23:05

WASHINGTON (AFP) -- A sonic boom that echoed over Washington Sunday was caused by two fighter jets scrambling to intercept an unresponsive aircraft that later crashed in rural Virginia, officials told AFP. Residents of the city and its suburbs reported hearing the thundering noise, which rattled windows and shook walls for miles and caused social media to light up with people asking what had happened. The two jets were scrambled from Joint Base Andrews, a Pentagon official told AFP, as they followed what the Federal Aviation Administration said was a Cessna Citation light aircraft that subsequently crashed in a mountainous area of southwest Virginia, which borders Washington. The plane had taken off from Elizabethton, Tennessee and was bound for Long Island, New York, the FAA said. However, flight tracking websites showed that it had turned around after reaching its destination and headed back south over or near Washington and into Virginia.No information was immediately available about the pilot or who was on board.

SINGAPORE (Reuters) -- Senior officials from about two dozen of the world’s major intelligence agencies held a secret meeting on the fringes of the Shangri-La Dialogue security meeting in Singapore this weekend, five people told Reuters. Such meetings are organized by the Singapore government and have been discreetly held at a separate venue alongside the security summit for several years, they said. The meetings have not been previously reported. The U.S. was represented by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, the head of her country’s intelligence community, while China was among the other countries present, despite the tensions between the two superpowers. Samant Goel, the head of India’s overseas intelligence gathering agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, also attended, an Indian source said. All five sources who discussed the meetings declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

GENEVA (AFP) -- Five children and a woman were injured when a car accidentally rammed into people gathered for a target shooting festival in Switzerland, police said. A woman frantically looking for help for an injured child drove into the square in Menieres, in the western Swiss canton of Fribourg, where a shooting festival was taking place. The car slammed into a group of people, injuring a woman and five children, Fribourg police said. Several ambulances transported the injured to surrounding hospitals after the accident, which happened shortly before 3:30 pm (1330 GMT). The driver, who was not injured, was taken to a police station for questioning.

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -- A computer outage disrupted train travel to and from Amsterdam and in other parts of the Netherlands for hours on Sunday and Monday, Dutch railway company NS said. The outage hit traffic control around 6 p.m. local time (1600GMT) on Sunday afternoon and crippled train services until Monday morning. NS said on Monday it had resolved the problem.The outage made it impossible for domestic and international trains to reach Amsterdam Central Station and cut off all rail traffic to and from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, one of Europe’s busiest hubs. It left hundreds of passengers stranded overnight in Amsterdam and at the country’s largest train station in Utrecht, Dutch news agency ANP said.

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) -- Loved ones and admirers held international commemorations Monday for British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, who were murdered a year ago while documenting environmental crimes in the Amazon rainforest. In a case that drew world outcry, Phillips and Pereira disappeared on June 5, 2022, at the edge of the Javari Valley, a far-flung Indigenous reservation in northern Brazil near the Colombian and Peruvian borders that experts call a haven for drug traffickers, illegal gold miners and poachers. Police say fishermen with suspected ties to a drug-trafficking ring have confessed to shooting the men, hacking their bodies to pieces and hiding them in the jungle, where the remains were found after a 10-day search. One year on, the case has become a symbol of the combustible mix of violence, greed and poverty fueling the destruction of the world’s biggest rainforest -- and of the dangers faced by journalists, experts, Indigenous groups and others trying to draw attention to the Amazon’s plight.

STOCKHOLM (AFP) -- Hundreds of people protested in Stockholm against new anti-terror legislation that was passed to address Turkey’s opposition to Sweden joining NATO. The demonstration was organized by groups close to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), outlawed by Turkey, which this week warned against “terrorists” being allowed to demonstrate in Sweden. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has so far blocked Sweden’s NATO membership, accusing Stockholm of being a haven for the Kurdish activists. To address his concerns, Sweden passed a new law that criminalizes “participation in a terrorist organization”. A spokesman for Erdogan on Tuesday said it was “completely unacceptable that PKK terrorists continue to operate freely in Sweden” and urged Swedish authorities to block the protest. Even though the PKK is also considered a terrorist organization in Sweden -- as in the rest of the EU -- its supporters are generally allowed to protest in public.

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