Biden approves Medal of Honor for Army helicopter pilot who rescued soldiers in a Vietnam firefight

Published Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:06:32 GMT

Biden approves Medal of Honor for Army helicopter pilot who rescued soldiers in a Vietnam firefight WASHINGTON (AP) — As an Army first lieutenant and Cobra helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, Larry Taylor flew hundreds of missions and saved countless lives. But no rescue flight was as daring, or as meaningful to Taylor, as the one for which he will receive the Medal of Honor from President Joe Biden. Biden will recognize Taylor at a ceremony next week, the White House announced Friday. On the night of June 18, 1968, Taylor took off in his attack helicopter to rescue four men on a long-range reconnaissance team that had become surrounded and was in danger of being overrun by enemy troops. He had to figure out a way to get them out, otherwise “they wouldn’t make it.”David Hill, one of the men Taylor saved that night, said Taylor’s actions were what “we now call thinking outside the box.”Hill and the three others were on a night mission to track the movement of enemy troops in a village near the Saigon River when they were found by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troo...

Danes orders Russia to reduce embassy staff to the same number that Denmark has in Moscow

Published Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:06:32 GMT

Danes orders Russia to reduce embassy staff to the same number that Denmark has in Moscow COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark on Friday informed Russia’s ambassador in Copenhagen that it must reduce its embassy staff to the same number that Denmark has in Moscow because talks to increase numbers have foundered over Russian attempts to sneak intelligence officers into Denmark. Copenhagen and Moscow “have been in long-term negotiation” regarding visas for employees at Denmark’s Embassy in Moscow, the Danish Foreign ministry said, but these talks “have not led to results due to repeated Russian attempts to include visa requests for Russian intelligence officers as part of those negotiations.”The brief Danish statement said that the Russian Embassy must be reduced to five diplomats and 20 administrative and technical staff. It gave Russia until Sept. 29 to comply. The announcement came on the same day as a Danish newspaper reported that a person it identified as a member of the Russian military intelligence agency GRU had been posted as diplomat in Copenhagen. Source

Governor votes on best food truck at state fair

Published Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:06:32 GMT

Governor votes on best food truck at state fair DENVER (KDVR) — Eat like the governor and try out his favorite dish from the state fair this year. Gov. Jared Polis and attendees taste-tested the six dishes provided at the third annual Governor's Plate Competition at the Colorado State Fair. Stoke Pizza was picked as the favorite food truck. Stoke Pizza served up a wood-fired chorizo, elote and green chile pizza which won the Golden Plate award. 9 Colorado restaurants win Michelin award Six food trucks competed in the competition. To enter the competition, the competing trucks had to be registered as “Colorado Proud,” which means all the ingredients used in the dish were made in Colorado. “The Governor's Plate competition is the best chance to taste some of the most delicious Colorado Proud ingredients from talented Colorado chefs. This fun event, and really the entire State Fair, is a celebration of Colorado agriculture and all the delicious foods produced here,” said Polis. Stokes Pizza's ingredients included flour from Bould...

Mother calls for accountability after son’s arrest in Miami Gardens neighborhood

Published Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:06:32 GMT

Mother calls for accountability after son’s arrest in Miami Gardens neighborhood Miami Gardens police officers arrested a man after responding to an attempted burglary in a residential neighborhood. Now, a mother wants accountability after, she said, her son was wrongfully arrested outside his home. Around 2:30 a.m. Friday, officers first responded to the residence, located on Northwest 180th Terrance and Sunshine State Parkway, where video footage captured several police vehicles in the vicinity and officers with weapons drawn at the house. According to Miami Gardens officials, authorities were called out to the area in reference to an attempted burglary. Before law enforcement arrived, the victim held the suspect at gunpoint before fleeing the scene. At around 6 a.m., new witness details emerged regarding the incident. According to the mother of the man arrested following this incident, an officer initially mistook a man outside of the home for a burglary suspect. The mother said her son was merely on the phone outside his home. Officials said a police sergea...

Orlando gator hunters bag massive 920-pound alligator to control population

Published Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:06:32 GMT

Orlando gator hunters bag massive 920-pound alligator to control population ORLANDO, Fla. (WSVN) — Gator hunters in Orlando made a colossal discovery, capturing and ultimately dispatching a behemoth alligator weighing an astonishing 920 pounds. This extraordinary effort was part of an initiative to manage and control the local alligator population.Kevin Brotz, leading a team from Florida Gator Hunting, played a role in the successful operation. The massive alligator was found lurking in a lake, with bystanders nearby, making this achievement all the more remarkable and possibly close to a record-breaking feat.The Florida Wildlife Commission acknowledges some truly colossal gators, with the heaviest on record tipping the scales at over one thousand pounds. While the 920-pound gator may not have claimed the title of the heaviest on record, it remains a remarkable testament to the size and strength of these reptilian giants.Gator hunting in Florida is conducted with the primary objective of managing alligator populations to ensure the safety of both humans and...

Crystal River resident describes ordeal after Hurricane Idalia hit Florida

Published Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:06:32 GMT

Crystal River resident describes ordeal after Hurricane Idalia hit Florida CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. (WSVN) — As Idalia moves further into the open ocean, those hit by the storm are starting the recovery process. The powerful storm left a trail of destruction behind in towns along the coast, including Crystal River.Homes and buildings were almost completely underwater. Now, one survivor who decided to ride out the storm, is telling her story.Tara Salute was born and raised in Crystal River and is now shell-shocked as a 7-foot storm surge cut her off.“In less than five minutes, everything just started, coming,” Salute said.Panicked, she grabbed her dog Millie and escaped through her window and paddleboarding to her next door neighbor’s house and the safety of their second floor.She dodging water and something else.“There were snakes crawling around outside my window. I mean, it was bad,” she said.Then hours later, there was more destruction.The neighbor’s house on the other side caught fire.Neighbors heard the explosions.“...

Nobel Prize chiefs spark backlash by inviting Russia to award ceremony

Published Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:06:32 GMT

Nobel Prize chiefs spark backlash by inviting Russia to award ceremony The Nobel Foundation’s decision to invite Russian ambassadors to this year’s Nobel Prize award ceremonies triggered fierce criticism from Swedish and Ukrainian politicians.The Nobel Foundation announced Thursday it would invite ambassadors from all countries that are diplomatically represented in Sweden and Norway, where award ceremonies are to be held in December. This includes Russia and Belarus, which last year were excluded following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation Vidar Helgesen said in a statement that this decision was made to counter a tendency in which “dialogue between those with differing views is being reduced.”But the announcement sparked strong reactions in Sweden, with many politicians announcing they would boycott the event. Center Party leader Muharrem Demirok, Left Party leader Nooshi Dadgostar and Green Party co-spokesperson Märta Stenevi all announced on X, formerly Twitter, they would not attend the ceremonies.J...

EU lawmakers pitch sweeping treaty reform

Published Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:06:32 GMT

EU lawmakers pitch sweeping treaty reform BRUSSELS — A group of European lawmakers plan to pitch a long-shot reform of the EU’s basic treaty that, if approved, would radically alter the way it functions, according to a draft obtained by POLITICO.The draft proposal — which is dated August 17 and was written by six members of the European Parliament on a committee for constitutional affairs — proposes a wholesale shift away from the unanimous decision-making in the Council of the EU. Instead, it advocates for qualified majority voting and normal legislative procedure in a range of areas including defense, taxation and foreign policy.The draft also proposes renaming the European Commission the “European Executive” and drastically expanding the powers of Parliament, as well as granting EU institutions exclusive competence — or the right to negotiate on behalf of its members — to decide on environmental and climate matters.The draft obtained by POLITICO was signed by Flemish Belgian Open Liberals and Democrats member ...

Man gets 2-year prison sentence in pandemic fraud case to buy alpaca farm

Published Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:06:32 GMT

Man gets 2-year prison sentence in pandemic fraud case to buy alpaca farm BOSTON (AP) — A former pizzeria owner has been sentenced to two years in prison for using over $660,000 in fraudulently obtained pandemic relief funds to buy an alpaca farm.In 2020, Dana McIntyre, 59, of Grafton, Vermont, submitted a fraudulent application for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, prosecutors said. He inflated information about the pizzeria’s employees and payroll expenses and falsified a tax form to try to qualify the business for a larger loan amount.After receiving the loan, McIntyre, formerly of Massachusetts, sold his pizzeria and used nearly all of the money to buy an alpaca farm in Vermont and eight alpacas, the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston said. He also paid for two vehicles and weekly airtime for a cryptocurrency-themed radio show that he hosted, prosecutors said.He was arrested in 2021.“Dana McIntyre capitalized on a national catastrophe and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from a limited pool of money set aside to help struggling ...

FDA says it will finalize ban on menthol tobacco products ‘in coming months’

Published Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:06:32 GMT

FDA says it will finalize ban on menthol tobacco products ‘in coming months’ (CNN) — The US Food and Drug Administration says it still plans to finalize rules that would prohibit the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars this year, but the agency is running behind schedule.In April 2022, when the FDA initially announced that it was going to ban the popular flavor, it set a deadline of August 2023 to work out the details. That deadline is still listed online, but a spokesperson said it will instead complete work on the rule “in the coming months.”Flavors in cigarettes were banned in 2009, but after serious lobbying from the industry, menthol was left out of the ban. Many public health leaders say that regulations on the last flavor allowed in cigarettes can’t come soon enough.“The law passed in 2009 and we’re here in 2023, 14 years later, so while we worked very closely with FDA on this issue, we’re pretty unhappy that they’ve taken such a long time to get this done,” said President and CEO of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Ki...

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