Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 19th 2013 Contents A29
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vice president Dick Cheney
and his wife are speaking
out as their daughters en-
gage in a testy public debate
over gay marriage.
Liz Cheney is running in a
Republican primary for a US
Senate seat from Wyoming.
She told Fox News Sunday
she disagrees with her sister
Mary Cheney, who is mar-
ried to a woman, over the
topic of same-sex marriage.
Mary Cheney responded
on Facebook: "You re just
Cheney and his wife,
Lynne, said in a statement
yesterday that their family
has dealt with this issue pri-
vately for many years.
They said they are
"pained to see it become
Liz Cheney says she be-
lieves in a "traditional defi-
nition" of marriage and
states should be allowed to
decide the matter for them-
KAZAN---The grainy airport video is dark,
short and chilling. Within five seconds, a
dot of light that Russian authorities say
is a Boeing 737 appears in the sky over the
tarmac and plunges to the ground in a
near-vertical crash. The result is a blinding
The video shown yesterday by Russian
television stations of Sunday s horrifying
crash at Kazan airport that killed all 50 peo-
ple onboard raises a host of questions,
including why the plane s second attempt
to land at night in good weather went so
Experts from the NTSB, Boeing and the
FAA were heading to the scene to help Russ-
ian investigators, who were combing through
the incinerated wreckage yesterday after fire
crews spent hours extinguishing the blaze.
The Boeing 737 plane belonging to
Tatarstan Airlines crashed Sunday night at
its home port of Kazan, 720 kilometres (520
miles) east of Moscow.
It was making its second attempt at a
landing, according to Alexander Poltinin,
head of the local branch of Russia s Inves-
tigative Committee, who said investigators
were looking into possible pilot error or
Poltinin said it could take weeks to identify
the remains. The traffic controller at the
Kazan airport, who contacted the plane
before the crash, said the crew told him
they weren t ready to land as it was
approaching but didn t specify the prob-
The brief video taken by an airport secu-
rity camera showed the plane going down
at high speed at a nearly vertical angle
and then hitting the ground and exploding.
It was confirmed as authentic to the Asso-
ciated Press by the emergency press service
at Kazan airport and other Russian officials.
The investigators have found both of the
plane s black boxes but said they were
damaged. The boxes---which record the
plane s performance and the crew s con-
versations---are essential for the crash
Magomed Tolboyev, a highly decorated
Russian test pilot, said on Rossiya television
that it wasn t immediately clear why the
crew was unable to land on their first try
in good weather.
US National Transportation Safety Board
spokesman Eric Weiss said yesterday that
a team of eight US aviation safety experts
were heading to Russia to assist: three
NTSB crash investigators, a US Federal
Aviation Administration investigator and
four experts from the plane manufacturer.
John Cox, an aviation safety consultant
who flew 737s for 15 years for US Airways,
said one of the first issues investigators
will look at based on the nearly vertical
angle of descent in the video will be
whether the plane experienced an aero-
dynamic stall, which usually occurs when
a plane slows to the point where its wings
"Anytime you have an airplane that gets
this vertical, the immediate suspicion is
that it stalled," Cox said in an interview.
Investigators yesterday started looking
through the company s records, which
showed the plane was built 23 years ago
and had been used by seven other carriers
prior to being picked up by Tatarstan Air-
lines in 2008.
In 2001, it was damaged in a landing
accident in Brazil that injured no one.
The company insisted that the aircraft
was in good condition for the flight.
The carrier has had a good safety record
but appears to have run into financial prob-
lems recently. Its personnel went on strike
in September over back wages, and the
Kazan airport authority has gone to arbi-
tration to claim what it said was Tatarstan
Airlines debt for servicing its planes. (AP)
Beset by scandal, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford faced
another likely setback yesterday as the City Council
took up a motion to snatch away many of his re-
maining powers in a heated council meeting where
he knocked over a woman councillor. Ford called
the effort a "coup d'etat" and challenged the council
to call snap elections.
The debate on the motion became heated after
Ford paced around the council chamber and traded
barbs with members of
the public. The speaker
asked security to clear
the chamber and a recess
was called. Members of
the public chanted
"Shame! Shame!" at the
Ford himself charged
at the gallery at one point
and knocked over council-
lor Pam McConnell before
picking her back up. Another councillor asked Ford
to apologise. Ford said he was rushing to the de-
fence of his brother, city councillor Doug Ford.
"I picked her up," Rob Ford said.
"I ran around because I thought my brother was
getting into an altercation."
Under the motion, already endorsed by a major-
ity of council members, Ford would have his office
budget cut by 60 per cent and his mayoral staff
would be allowed to join the deputy mayor. Ford
would effectively have no legislative power as he
would no longer chair the executive committee.
The motion was revised from a tougher version
to ward off potential legal challenges. Ford would
retain his title and ability to represent Toronto at
official functions. The city's lawyer said the pro-
posal does not render Ford "mayor in name only."
The council does not have the power to remove
Ford from office, barring a criminal conviction. It is
pursuing the strongest recourse available after re-
cent revelations that Ford smoked crack cocaine
and his repeated outbursts of erratic behavior.
"Mayor Ford has had many choices...would he
change his behaviour? Would he step aside and
seek help?...The mayor unfortunately has chosen
the path of denial," councillor John Filion said.
"Now it's time to take away the keys...The new
allegations pile up faster than the old ones can be
dealt with. If many Torontonians were initially fas-
cinated by the drama, they are now fed up with it.
They want it to end."
Far from being chastened, Ford has vowed to
take the council to court and insists he will seek re-
election next year. He earlier claimed on a radio sta-
tion that councillors were against his agenda to
save taxpayers' money.
"If they want me out, they should just call a snap
election," Ford told radio station AM640.
On Thursday, Ford spouted an obscenity on live
television while denying the sex allegation, saying
he was "happily married" and using crude language
to assert that he enjoys enough oral sex at home.
Last week, after admitting to excessive drinking
and buying illegal drugs, Ford disclosed that he is
seeking medical help. But he and his family insist
he is not an addict and does not need rehab.
Russia plane crash kills 50
Investigators seek answers
Fiesty session as council tries to
strip Toronto mayor of powers
memory of 50
trying to land.
Cheney sisters spar on gay marriage
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