FROM Alan Levin
Pilot 'Deliberately' Downed the Germanwings Plane Tuesday's Germanwings airline crash that killed 150 people is now being investigated as a criminal case. The co-pilot is suspected of intentionally flying the Airbus 320 into a mountain in the French Alps. Speaking through a translator, French Prosecutor Brice Robin announced, "I consider it to be deliberate. First of all, refusing entry to the cockpit; second, maneuvering the lever for loss of altitude." Carsten Spohr is chief executive of Lufthansa, which owns GermanWings. The former pilot of the Airbus 320 — the kind of plane now said to have crashed deliberately with deadly results, told CNN today, "Apparently after the pilot... after the captain left the cockpit, he tried to regain access. There were knocks on the doors, according to French authorities, and the door was either kept locked or not opened in the way it was supposed to be. And that for sure is a clear indication that the remaining pilot, the copilot, didn't want the captain to return."
Hollywood's Got Drones Unmanned drones mounted with cameras are just what a movie director asked for. But, until today, they’ve had to go overseas, because the FAA has prohibited the commercial use of drones except for an oil company in Alaska. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced a “significant milestone”—permits for six movie and TV companies to use them under certain conditions.
Air-Traffic Controllers Get New Anti-Fatigue Rules Saturday night -- for the sixth time this year -- an air traffic controller fell asleep on the job, this time at a regional control center near Miami. Other controllers were on duty and no landings were missed, but Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the incident has strengthened his resolve to do something about it. Alan Levin covers aviation safety for USA Today .
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?