August 21, 2011 in Nation/World

In brief: Pilot dies in biplane crash at air show


Kansas City, Mo. – A stunt pilot was killed in a fiery crash during a Kansas City air show on Saturday after his plane was unable to get out of a downward spiral and nosedived into a grassy field, witnesses and authorities said.

Missouri Department of Aviation spokesman Joe McBride said the pilot couldn’t pull out of a maneuver and crashed the biplane at a downtown airfield. No spectators were injured.

McBride said it was the first fatal crash at the annual Kansas City Aviation Expo Air Show. Event officials identified the pilot as Bryan Jensen, though no other information was released.

Witnesses told the Kansas City Star that the red Horzon Hobbit plane was performing loops, then couldn’t pull up from a downward spiral. They said the crowd fell silent when the plane hit the ground and burst into flames.

Kasich touts budget amendment

Washington – Republicans ramped up their push for a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution on Saturday, enlisting Ohio Gov. John Kasich to make their case in a weekly address.

Earlier this month, House Speaker John Boehner, whose home state is Ohio, reportedly urged fellow Republicans to sell constituents on the balanced-budget amendment during the summer congressional recess. President Barack Obama has rejected the idea, but Republicans are laying the groundwork for a battle over the measure when Congress returns in the fall.

“I’m … encouraged to see that Republicans fought to ensure that both houses of Congress will vote this fall on the balanced budget amendment to the Constitution,” Kasich said in the weekly Republican address.

“As a former chairman of the House Budget Committee, I can tell you there is no better way to control future spending and give our job creators long-term certainty than through a balanced-budget amendment,” Kasich said.

The recent deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling set up a bipartisan, 12-member congressional committee that’s tasked with cutting the deficit by $1.5 trillion before the debt ceiling can be raised again.

Obama made no mention of a balanced budget in his own weekly address, recorded in Alpha, Ill., on a bus tour of the Midwest last week. In addition to deficit cutting, Democrats hope to use the super committee’s work to enact some job-creation measures, some of which Obama detailed Saturday.

Verizon workers will return to work

New York – Thousands of striking Verizon workers will return to work starting Monday night, though their contract dispute isn’t over yet.

Both the company and the union say they have agreed to narrow the issues in dispute and have set up a process to negotiate a new contract. But the talks are likely to be contentious. The two sides still disagree on touchy subjects such as health care benefits, pensions and work rules.

About 45,000 employees went on strike on Aug. 7, after their previous contract expired. They work in the company’s landline division in nine states from Massachusetts to Virginia.

Verizon says it needs to cut costs in the traditional landline phone business, which is in decline as more Americans switch to mobile phones. The company has proposed freezing its pension and switching union workers to its non-union health plan, which has higher costs for employees.

Of the 45,000 striking workers, 35,000 are covered by the Communications Workers of America, while 10,000 are covered by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

‘Deep Throat’ garage gets marker

Arlington, Va. – A nondescript parking garage where Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward met his Watergate source known as “Deep Throat” now has a historical marker.

The historic preservation agency in Arlington, Va., quietly installed the marker this month. It was approved in 2008. Now it stands near the garage entrance.

This is the place where Mark Felt, the FBI’s second in command, met Woodward to discuss Watergate. Felt provided information that exposed the Nixon administration’s obstruction of the FBI’s investigation. The marker says they met at the garage six times in 1972 and 1973. Nixon resigned in 1974.

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