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Elyria Chronicle Telegram Newspaper Archives May 21 2015, Page 4

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Elyria Chronicle Telegram (Newspaper) - May 21, 2015, Elyria, Ohio Thursday, May 21, 2015 A4 Page WWW. C H R O N I C L E T . C O M ROUNDUP Marcia Dunn The Associated Press CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A mysterious space plane rocketed into orbit Wednesday, carrying no crew but a full load of technology experiments. The Air Force launched its unmanned mini- shuttle late Wednesday morning. An Atlas V rocket lifted it up and out over the Atlantic. This is the fourth flight for the military research program, which is shrouded in secrecy. The last X- 37B mission lasted 674 days and ended with a California touchdown. Altogether, the first three X- 37B flights spanned 1,367 days. That’s 3 ½ years. The Air Force won’t say how long this particular mission will last or where it will end. Public commentary about the launch ended barely five minutes after liftoff, well before the space plane was supposed to settle into a relatively low orbit. The X- 37B looks like a miniature version of a NASA space shuttle. It is 29 feet long — about one- quarter the length of a space shuttle — and its wingspan is about 15 feet. Like the old shuttle, the Boeing- built X- 37B launches vertically and lands horizontally, is reusable, and has lots of room for experiments. But no one flies on them; they are operated robotically. This X- 37B — also known as OTV, or orbital test vehicle — has a materials- sample experiment on board for NASA, as well as an experimental electric- propulsion thruster for the Air Force. But perhaps the most intriguing payload, at least from the public point of view, is a solar- sail demo sponsored by the Planetary Society. The society’s chief executive officer, Bill Nye, better known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, said a large, light, shiny Mylar sail measuring 344 square feet was tucked into a small box for liftoff. The intent is for sunlight to propel it, once it is released and deployed in orbit. The sail hitched a ride on the upperstage rocket for a test flight. Such technology could be useful for future missions to monitor solar weather and keep a lookout for possible asteroids headed our way. Zeina Karam and Sameer N. Yacoub The Associated Press BEIRUT — Islamic State extremists captured the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra after government defense lines there collapsed Wednesday, a stunning triumph for the group only days after it captured the strategic city of Ramadi in Iraq. It was unclear by nightfall how close to Palmyra’s famed archaeological site the militants had advanced, activists said, adding that Syrian soldiers were seen fleeing the area. The ruins at Palmyra are one of the world’s most renowned historic sites and there were fears the extremists would destroy them as they did major archaeological sites in Iraq. The UNESCO world heritage site is famous for its 2,000- year- old towering Roman- era colonnades and other ruins and priceless artifacts. Before the war, thousands of tourists a year visited the remote desert outpost, a cherished landmark referred to by Syrians as the “ Bride of the Desert.” The fall of the town to the Islamic State group after a week of fighting was an enormous loss to the government, not only because of its cultural significance, but because it opens the way for the extremists to advance to key government- held areas, including Damascus and the Syrian coast to the south and southwest, as well as the contested eastern city of Deir el- Zour to the east. Next to it are also important gas and oil fields in the country’s central region. It was not immediately clear how close the militants were to the ruins, which are just southwest of the town. “ I am terrified,” said Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria’s director- general of antiquities and museums. “ This is a PR battle for Daesh, and they will insist on scoring victory against civilization by destroying” the ancient ruins, he said, using the Arabic acronym for the group. The fall of Palmyra just days after Islamic State fighters seized the strategic Iraqi city of Ramadi showed the extremists’ ability to advance on multiple fronts at opposite ends of a sprawling battlefield that spans the two countries— and erased any sense that recent Islamic State losses in Tikrit and elsewhere had dealt a major blow to the militants. Islamic State seizes historic Syrian town Plane heads into space Air Force’s mini- shuttle is mystery UNITED LAUNCH ALLIANCE VIA AP A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Wednesday. The rocket is carrying a space plane for the U. S. Air Force. ONLINE Planetary Society: http:// planetarysociety. org United Launch Alliance: www. ulalaunch. com Nomaan Merchant, David Warren and Emily Schmall The Associated Press WACO, Texas — As gunfire broke out in the parking lot of a Texas restaurant, dozens of motorcycle riders ran inside seeking cover and tried to guide others to safety, security video reviewed exclusively by The Associated Press showed Wednesday. The video, shared by representatives of the restaurant, shows bikers on the patio ducking under tables and trying to get inside. At least three people were holding handguns. One biker was seen running with blood on his face, hands and torso. The footage shows only one round being fired — by a biker on the patio who then ran inside. Authorities have said the shooting began during an apparent confrontation between two rival motorcycle gangs— the Bandidos and the Cossacks. Some bikers have complained that police acted too hastily in making arrests and scooped up riders who had nothing to do with the violence. Before the shooting begins, the inside of the restaurant appears to be mostly empty. Bikers and other patrons can be seen walking to the windows facing the parking lot where most of the shooting happened. When gunfire erupts at 12: 24 p. m., most bikers, other patrons and staff immediately run away from the windows and into the restaurant’s interior. At least three people can be seen holding handguns. One camera angle shows bikers running into the men’s bathroom. When there’s no space left in the bathroom, they dash toward the kitchen. Another camera angle, on the far side of the restaurant from the gunfire, shows patrons who are not wearing biker gear crawling behind tables toward the kitchen. At least three bikers appear to be gesturing for the patrons to crawl to safety. None of the nine video angles shows the parking lot. Only one angle, taken from inside a back office in the restaurant, had audio. At 12: 24 p. m., a woman is heard screaming, “ Oh my God!” That’s followed by multiple cries of “ Get back!” Two minutes later, three gunshots are heard. It’s not clear who fired. Video shows police with assault rifles entering the front door at about the same time. As two officers enter, bikers can be seen lying on the floor with their hands spread. Study: 31 million people are underinsured Nearly a quarter of U. S. adults who were insured all last year lacked adequate protection from big medical bills based on their income, according to Commonwealth Fund research. The nonprofit foundation estimates that about 31 million people between the ages of 19 and 64 were underinsured due in part to the out- of- pocket expenses they have to pay for care. That includes deductibles, or payments a patient has to make before most coverage begins. Skipping care altogether is another approach patients are choosing, according to Commonwealth. It found that 44 percent of the people considered underinsured skipped doctor’s visits or a prescription or did not get a recommended medical test. Commonwealth found that 51 percent of the underinsured had problems paying medical bills or were paying off debt over time. Almost 60 percent of underinsured adults had coverage through an employer, the most common form of health insurance in the United States. Rates were highest among those at small firms. Commonwealth considers most people to be underinsured if their out- of- pocket costs— a total that doesn’t include the premium— equal 10 percent or more of their household income. The foundation uses a lower percentage for those with incomes close to federal poverty levels. DEA arrests 48 in ‘ pill mill’ crackdown LITTLE ROCK, Ark.— Authorities raided medical clinics, pharmacies and other locations across the South on Wednesday as part of a Drug Enforcement Administration attempt to thwart illegal prescription drug sales. The raids in Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi were the latest stage of an operation launched last summer by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s drug diversion unit, which has now netted 280 arrests over more than a year, including 22 doctors and pharmacists. The DEA’s “ Operation Pilluted” had focused on the illegal distribution of oxycodone, hydrocodone and Xanax by medical professionals, and does not target addicts. Agents arrested 48 people Wednesday: 22 in Louisiana, nine each in Alabama and Arkansas and eight in Mississippi. Rescued women, girls in military custody YOLA, Nigeria— All 275 women, girls and children rescued from Boko Haram and taken to the safety of a northeast Nigerian refugee camp have been taken into military custody amid suspicions that some are aiding the Islamic extremists, a camp official and a Nigerian military intelligence officer said Wednesday. They said soldiers on Tuesday took the group from Malkohi Camp to the airport at Yola city, where a military plane flew them to an unknown destination. The group— which includes 67 women and girls and the rest young children— was brought to Malkohi on May 2. — from wire reports Amtrak engineer’s phone use investigated PHILADELPHIA— Investigators are combing through phone records, locomotive data, radio transmissions and surveillance video to determine if the engineer in last week’s deadly Amtrak derailment was using his cellphone while at the controls, federal authorities said Wednesday as union officials offered new details on how the engineer spent the hours before the crash. Brandon Bostian’s phone records show calls were made, text messages were sent and data was used the day of the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board said, but it remains unclear if the phone was used while the train was in motion. Investigators won’t be able to make that determination until after a time- consuming analysis comparing time stamps from Bostian’s subpoenaed phone records with those from an on- board data recorder, video and other sources, the NTSB said. The May 12 derailment killed eight people and injured more than 200. Video shows bikers ducking for cover ANALYSIS Jesse J. Holland The Associated Press WASHINGTON— The prevailing images of protests in Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo., over police killings of black men were of police in riot gear, handcuffed protesters, tear gas and mass arrests. The main images of a fatal gun battle between armed bikers and police in Waco, Texas, also showed mass arrests— carried out by nonchalant- looking officers sitting around calm bikers on cellphones. The firefight in Waco is raising questions about perceptions and portrayals of crime in America, considering the vehement reaction that the earlier protests got from police, politicians and some members of the public. Unlike in Ferguson and Baltimore, where protests went on for days, there was no live news coverage of the Waco shootout. And yet the incident at a Texas restaurant hasn’t been used as a bridge to discuss other issues about families, poverty and crime, media critics, columnists and civil rights activists say. They complain that there appears to be little societal concern about the gunplay at a restaurant in Texas, whereas politicians— including President Barack Obama— described violent looters in Baltimore as “ thugs,” and the media devoted hours of television and radio airtime to dissecting social ills that affect the black community. On Twitter, # wacothugs and # whiteonwhitecrime were trending, with columnists around the nation debating the differences. “ So the mainstream media refuses to talk ( hashtag) WacoThugs, huh? No panel discussion on their childhood? Fatherless homes?” radio and TV commentator Roland Martin said on Facebook. The Atlantic’s Ta- Nehisi Coates tweeted sarcastically, “ Why won’t America’s biker gangs be more like Dr. Martin Luther King?” The shootout at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco left nine people dead and 18 injured. About 170 bikers have been charged with engaging in organized crime, with bond at $ 1 million for each suspect. Mug shots show an array of suspects: white, Hispanic, a white woman and a man who looked black. There were no deaths during the Baltimore and Ferguson protests, yet people immediately stereotyped all of the protesters as criminals, said Nicole Lee, a human rights lawyer who worked with protesters in both cities. “ Nine people were killed in Waco, and yet you have not heard the level of disgust and dismay as you did over fires burning in Ferguson and in Baltimore,” Lee said. “ One of the things the protesters always said was that while many of them disagreed with the property destruction, that you can rebuild property. But you can’t bring back people, and yet you’re not hearing an equal amount of disgust from the media and from people over what happened in Waco.” Waco vs. Ferguson/ Baltimore Differing perceptions bothering some AP PHOTOS LEFT: A McLennan County deputy stands guard near a group of bikers in the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, on Sunday. RIGHT: Police stand in formation as a curfew approaches in Baltimore on April 28, a day after unrest that occurred following Freddie Gray’s funeral.

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