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In brief: U.S. stunt pilot killed in crash

Sun., Aug. 23, 2009

London – A leading U.S. stunt pilot was killed Saturday when her light aircraft crashed at an aerobatic show in central England.

Vicki Cruse, 40, from Santa Paula, Calif., died in an accident during the World Aerobatic Championships at Britain’s Silverstone motor racing circuit. Cruse, who was president of the International Aerobatics Club, is a former member of the U.S. national aerobatics team.

Team manager Norm DeWitt said in a statement that Cruse appeared to have suffered a mechanical problem in flight and was unable to bail out of her Edge 540 plane.

Taliban choose new leader

Islamabad – The Pakistani Taliban have appointed a new chief, militants said Saturday, selecting a top commander known for his ruthless efficiency in staging attacks, including a major hotel bombing and a deadly assault against the Sri Lankan cricket team.

The appointment of 28-year-old Hakimullah Mehsud could herald an increase in attacks as the group tries to prove it is still intact and operational, analysts say. It comes after weeks of reported infighting among Taliban commanders to replace Baitullah Mehsud, the group’s former chief who was reportedly killed in a CIA missile strike in northwestern Pakistan.

Militant leader turns in weapons

Yenagoa, Nigeria – A top militant leader and 1,000 fighters surrendered to the Nigerian government Saturday, turning in their weapons in the biggest hand-over since an amnesty began two weeks ago.

Ebikabowei Victor Ben, the state commander for the region’s biggest armed group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, and 25 commanders under his leadership delivered weapons to police overnight.


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