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The Journal Gazette

Monday, March 12, 2018 1:00 am

Nation/world

Copter crash kills 2, hurts 3 in NYC

News services

NEW YORK – A helicopter crashed into New York City's East River on Sunday night and flipped upside down in the water, killing two of the six people aboard and leaving three others in critical condition, officials said.

Video taken by a bystander and posted on Twitter shows the red helicopter land hard in the water and then capsize, its rotors slapping at the water.

The helicopter, a private charter hired for a photo shoot, went down near Gracie Mansion, the mayoral residence. One person, the pilot, freed himself and was rescued by a tugboat, officials said.

The passengers were recovered by police and fire department divers, who had to remove them from tight harnesses while they were upside down, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

Witnesses said the helicopter was flying noisily, then suddenly dropped into the water and quickly submerged. But the pilot appeared on the surface, holding onto a flotation device as a tugboat and then police boats approached.

FARC fares poorly at Colombian polls

Colombia's fragile peace deal looked increasingly under threat Sunday as right-wing parties critical of the accord performed well in congressional elections seen as a dry run for a hotly contested presidential ballot in May, while the current president's party slumped.

The vote was the first time former members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, were competing after disarming as part of the 2016 peace deal for ending a half-century of guerrilla war.

As expected, support for their radical agenda was soundly defeated, with FARC candidates getting less than 0.5 percent of the overall vote. That means their political party, also called FARC, will get only the 10 seats guaranteed it by the peace accord.

16 die in Rwanda lightning strike

At least 16 people were killed in Rwanda and 140 others injured when lightning struck a Seventh Day Adventist church in the country's south, a provincial governor said Sunday.

A similar incident occurred Friday when lightning struck a group of 18 students, killing one. Last October, lightning killed 18 people in different parts of the country, where lightning strikes are frequent.

11 dead as Turkish jet hits mountain

A Turkish private jet flying a group of young women from the United Arab Emirates to Istanbul crashed Sunday in heavy rain in a mountainous region of Iran, killing all 11 people on board, authorities said.

Days earlier, the aircraft carried a bachelorette party bound for Dubai, although it was not clear who was on the plane when it crashed.

Iranian state television quoted a spokesman for the country's emergency management organization as saying the plane hit a mountain near Shahr-e Kord and burst into flames.

Scientologists launching TV channel

The Church of Scientology is getting its own TV channel starting today.

A Twitter handle, website and app for Scientology TV appeared Sunday posting updates to hype the network's availability on DIRECTV, AppleTV, Roku, fireTV, Chromecast, iTunes and Google Play.

A tweet Sunday from the ScientologyTV account says, “It's time for us to tell our story.”

Scientology has been the subject of a handful of high-profile projects investigating its alleged abuses of former members.