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Naples, Florida plane crash kills two on US highway; officials investigate

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Naples, Florida plane crash kills two on US highway; officials investigate

The Bombardier Challenger 600 series jet has crashed on the I-75 highway in US state of Florida.

A private passenger jet crash-landed on a busy highway in Florida in the United States and collided with two vehicles on the ground in a fiery accident that killed two people, authorities and witnesses said.

Moments before the jet with five people on board slammed into the highway on Friday, the pilot calmly told an airport controller that the aircraft “was not going to make the runway” since it had lost both engines.

The jet was bound for the airport in Naples when it tried to make an emergency landing on Interstate 75. But witnesses say it collided with a vehicle – the wing of the plane dragging a car before slamming into a wall. An explosion followed, with flames and black smoke rising from the scene.

Two people were killed, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, but it was not immediately known whether the victims had been passengers on the plane or were on the ground.

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Federal authorities have launched an investigation into the crash near Naples, just north of where the interstate heads east towards Fort Lauderdale along what is known as Alligator Alley.

The plane had taken off from an airport at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, at about 1pm. It was scheduled to land in Naples around the time of the crash, Naples Airport Authority spokesperson Robin King said, when pilot contacted the tower requesting an emergency landing.

“Got that. Emergency. Clear to land. Runway. Two. Three,” the air traffic controller responded to the pilot, in audio obtained by The Associated Press.

“We’re clear to land, but we’re not gonna make the runway. We’ve lost both engines,” the pilot calmly replied.

‘The wing pulverised a car’

The tower lost contact, and then airport workers saw the smoke from the interstate just a few miles away, King said.

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King said they sent fire trucks with special foam to the scene, and three of the five people on board were taken from the wreckage alive.

Brianna Walker saw the wing of the plane drag the car in front of hers and slam into the wall.

“It’s seconds that separated us from the car in front of us,” she said. “The wing pulverised this one car.”

Walker and her friend spotted the plane moments before it hit the highway, allowing her friend to pull over before the crash.

“The plane was over our heads by inches,” she said. “It took a hard right and skid across the highway.”

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According to the FlightAware aircraft tracker, the plane was operated by Hop-a-Jet Worldwide Charter based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The aircraft had been scheduled to fly back to Fort Lauderdale on Friday afternoon.

Federal authorities said a preliminary report about the cause of the crash can be expected in 30 days.

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List of winners at the 30th Screen Actors Guild Awards

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List of winners at the 30th Screen Actors Guild Awards

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The list of winners so far at the 30th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which are being presented live Saturday in Los Angeles.

MOVIES

FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Da’Vine Joy Randolph, “The Holdovers”

MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Robert Downey Jr., “Oppenheimer”

STUNT ENSEMBLE

“Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning – Part I”

TELEVISION

COMEDY ENSEMBLE

“The Bear”

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MALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Pedro Pascal, “The Last of Us”

MALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Jeremy Allen White, “The Bear”

FEMALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Ayo Edebiri, “The Bear”

FEMALE ACTOR IN A LIMITED TV SERIES OR MOVIE

Ali Wong, “Beef”

MALE ACTOR IN A LIMITED TV SERIES OR MOVIE

Steven Yeun, “Beef”

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STUNT ENSEMBLE

“The Last of Us”

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Reporter's Notebook: Aboard the USS Dwight D Eisenhower in the Red Sea: 'Constant self-defense'

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Reporter's Notebook: Aboard the USS Dwight D Eisenhower in the Red Sea: 'Constant self-defense'

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It’s the dark of night, the middle of the Red Sea, but it’s not quiet. The whine of several F-18 super hornet fighter jets produce an ear-splitting sound on the deck of the USS Dwight D Eisenhower. 

In bright primary-colored shirts, sailors on the flight deck tend to their specific jobs. The munitions officers, in red shirts, flip a switch that engages the sidewinder missiles on the outside of the fighter jet’s wings. It’s like taking the safety off your gun. The missiles are now ready to be fired. The pilot inches his jet forward so catapult officers can hook the tow-bar on his front wheel to the shuttle which runs down a steaming slot to the end of the flight deck.  

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Through a series of hand signals, a deck officer with yellow flashlights tells the pilot it’s time. He throttles the jet engines to full power and everyone’s rib cages shake on deck. An officer with the title shooter triggers the catapult and with a mighty roar the super hornet is launched into combat over the Red Sea.

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: EMBEDDED WITH THE IDF DEEP INSIDE HAMAS TUNNELS UNDER UNRWA HQ

Fox News correspondent Mike Tobin on board the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea (Fox News)

Each takeoff is a launch into combat. Everything happens in the “weapons engagement zone,” close enough to Houthi controlled Yemen that they are in range of hostile fire.  

“We are in constant self-defense out here when it comes to threats that can be shot at us,’ says Rear Admiral Marc Miguez, commander of the strike group. 

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Self-defense does not mean they don’t go on the offensive. Often times, the F-18s launch with a planned target. Captain Marvin Scott, commander of the air wing on the carrier says his pilots have already degraded the ability of the Houthis to fire at cargo ships and warships crossing the Red Sea. “By targeting their ability to see us, their surveillance radars, and now we’re primarily focused on their military capabilities,” he says.

USS Dwight Eisenhower

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea (Fox News)

Many of the targets are “dynamic targets”, something that presents itself after the F-18 is in the air. U.S. Central Command says on Thursday U.S. forces struck four drones and two anti-ship cruise missiles that were prepared to launch. On Friday, they shot down three drones near commercial ships in the Red Sea.  

US, COALITION FORCES DESTROY 6 HOUTHI ONE-WAY ATTACK DRONES

Oil tanker on fire

In this photo provided by the Indian Navy on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024, a view of  the oil tanker Marlin Luanda on fire after an attack, in the Gulf of Aden. The crew aboard a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker hit by a missile launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels is battling a fire onboard the stricken vessel sparked by the strike. (Indian Navy via AP)

The threats are constant and while the sailors have proven to be effective at shooting missiles out of the sky, it’s not an easy task and failure is not an option. “We have to be right 100% of the time and they only have to be right once,” says Miguez.

The USS Eisenhower is one of six ships in strike group two. One of them is a cruiser, the USS Philippine Sea. It serves as a sentinel for the strike group, with layers of sailors who monitor high-tech electronics that detect incoming threats. In a matter of seconds, the “watchstanders” determine the nature of the threat and how to respond. 

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“It just depends what the threat is and what’s coming at us,” Says Captain Steve Liberty who defined what his ship is ready for, “Anything they can throw our way,” he says.

 

USS Dwight D Eisenhower

Sailors on the flight deck of the USS Dwight D Eisenhower. (Fox News)

In the end, their mission is as old as the Navy itself. Protecting safe maritime trade is the reason the Navy was created in the first place. “Freedom of Navigation,” Says Captain Chris Hill, Commander of the Dwight D Eisenhower, “It’s something we’ve been doing since 1775, and it’s something we’re really good at.”

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Angry french farmers greet President Emmanuel Macron at major fair

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Angry french farmers greet President Emmanuel Macron at major fair

Farmers across the EU argue the bloc’s environmental regulations, including initiatives like the Green Deal, hamper their operations and render their products less competitive against non-EU products.

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French President Emmanuel Macron was on Saturday welcomed at the annual Agricultural Fair by angry farmers calling for more government support and simplified regulations.

During talks on-site with farmers’ representatives, Macron stressed that resolving this crisis would not happen quickly and highlighted the fair as a crucial moment for farmers, who have invested a lot of effort to showcase their animals and products. 

The annual fair opens a day after frustrated farmers returned to Paris with their tractors to demand increased government support and simplified regulations.

The latest protest comes three weeks after farmers lifted roadblocks around Paris and throughout the country following a government pledge to spend €400 million to address concerns regarding low incomes, excessive regulation, and perceived unfair competition from abroad.

“Save our agriculture,” declared the Rural Coordination, echoing their sentiment on social media. Among the demonstrators, one tractor bore a poster reading: “Death is in the field.”

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The convoy briefly disrupted traffic on the A4 highway to the east of Paris and the city’s ring-road earlier in the day.

The grievances expressed by French farmers are part of a broader movement across Europe protesting against EU agricultural policies, bureaucratic hurdles, and overall business conditions.

Farmers argue that EU environmental regulations, including initiatives like the Green Deal, which advocate for restrictions on chemical usage and greenhouse gas emissions, hamper their operations and render their products less competitive compared to imports from outside the EU.

Similar protests are unfolding across France as farmers ramp up pressure on the government to fulfill its commitments. Government officials have engaged in ongoing discussions with farmers’ unions in recent weeks to draft a new bill aimed at safeguarding France’s “agricultural sovereignty,” which will undergo parliamentary debate this spring.

The government’s proposed measures include significant financial assistance, tax incentives, and a pledge not to prohibit pesticides in France that remain permissible elsewhere in Europe. French farmers argue that such bans place them at an unfair disadvantage.

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