TEHRAN, Iran – A locally built Iranian passenger plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Tehran on Sunday, killing 39 people and reviving questions about the safety of a cash-strapped aviation sector left hobbled by international sanctions.
President Hassan Rouhani offered his condolences to victims’ families and quickly ordered an investigation into the crash. Similar planes operated by Iranian carriers will be grounded until the probe is complete, he directed.
The plane was based on a relatively obscure Ukrainian design that has been involved in previous Iranian air disasters.
The Sepahan Air regional airliner, bound for the eastern town of Tabas, went down in a residential area shortly after takeoff at 9:20 a.m. from Tehran’s Mehrabad airport.
State TV said the plane’s tail struck the cables of an electricity tower before it hit the ground and burst into flames. The official IRNA news agency said the plane suffered an engine failure.
Palestinians, Israel talks restart
Israel and the Palestinians were to resume talks in Cairo today after agreeing to a new cease-fire, while a prominent Israeli Cabinet member proposed that negotiations be expanded with a view toward eventual peace with all Arab nations.
The three-day cease-fire, which began at midnight Sunday in Israel and the Gaza Strip, followed another long, anxious day in which the warring sides exchanged rocket and missile fire. The armed wing of Hamas, which runs Gaza, lobbed a last rocket at Tel Aviv just minutes before the temporary truce began.
A previous 72-hour cease-fire crumbled Friday when Islamic Jihad and other militant groups in Gaza sent rockets into Israel. Those attacks caused the Israeli delegation to walk away from the Cairo talks, saying they would not negotiate while Israel was under fire.
The talks, in which Egypt is acting as a go-between, seek a more durable truce in a war that has raged for a month. More than 1,900 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting, many of them civilians. Israel has lost 64 soldiers and three civilians.
Missionaries to be quarantined
Missionaries retuning to the United States after working with patients infected with Ebola will be put in quarantine and monitored, health officials said Sunday.
The quarantine will last at least three weeks since the missionaries were last exposed to people infected with the Ebola virus, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said.
The missionaries are with Charlotte-based SIM USA. None of them are sick or have shown any signs of having Ebola, but they agree with health officials that everyone should be as cautious as possible, SIM USA president Bruce Johnson said in a statement.
Truck hits farmers market; 1 killed
A pickup truck drove into a farmers market in northern New Jersey near closing time Sunday, killing a woman who was dragged by the truck for blocks and injuring several others, the mayor of the borough said.
Hawthorne Mayor Richard Goldberg said the pickup truck drove through a barricade about 2:20 p.m. Sunday, struck several people and dragged the woman three blocks. Identified only as a resident of the borough, she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Goldberg said two or three people hurt in the accident were treated at hospitals, but officials said their injuries were not considered life-threatening. The mayor said the man driving the pickup was taken into custody, but no charges had been filed as of Sunday night.
NYC boy falls out of window, dies
A 2-year-old boy died after plummeting five floors from the window of a New York City apartment building.
Police said Nayvem Santos fell to a second-floor landing from the seventh floor of a Gerard Avenue building in the Bronx about 4:20 a.m. Sunday.
A police spokesman said the toddler’s death appears to be an unfortunate accident. He said the boy lived in the apartment building, located about four blocks from Yankee Stadium.
‘Yes means yes’ bill on agenda
California lawmakers are considering what would be the first-in-the-nation measure requiring all colleges that receive public funds to set a standard for when yes means yes for consensual sex.
Legislation passed by California’s state Senate in May and coming before the Assembly this month would require all schools that receive public funds for student financial assistance to set an affirmative consent standard that could be used in investigating and adjudicating sexual assault allegations. That would be defined as an affirmative, unambiguous and conscious decision by each party to engage in sexual activity.
Silence or lack of resistance does not constitute consent. The legislation says it’s also not consent if the person is drunk, drugged, unconscious or asleep.
Jackpot winner gets $90 million
Someone in Colorado is holding the winning Powerball ticket for a $90 million prize, the largest Powerball jackpot ever won in the state.
The Colorado Lottery said the winning ticket for Saturday night’s multistate drawing was purchased at a Kum & Go convenience store in the small eastern city of Rifle. The ticketholder had yet to come forward.
The winner matched the five winning numbers – 3, 12, 31, 34, 51 – and the Powerball, 24.
Coaster halts, trapping 24 riders
Authorities said 24 people stranded on a roller coaster were rescued Sunday from near the top of the ride at Six Flags America in Maryland.
Prince George’s County Fire officials said it took about five hours to rescue 17 adults and seven children from The Joker’s Jinx roller coaster.
Assistant Fire Chief Paul Gomez said the riders were sitting upright. A few had cramps, back pain and dehydration, but there were no major injuries.
A Six Flags America spokesman said in a statement that it is not yet clear what caused the ride to stop.