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World briefs for January 9

Investigators study scene after crash

LONDON (AP) — Authorities in England cordoned off flooded marshes Wednesday to investigate the crash of a military helicopter that killed four U.S. Air Force crewmembers.

The Pave Hawk helicopter slammed into the eastern coast during a low-level training mission Tuesday evening. Teams combing the marshes have been hampered by bullets scattered across the scene and have not yet recovered the crew’s remains.

Local authorities are carrying out a daylight investigation, and the bodies will be removed afterward. The aircraft was assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing.

The U.S. Air Force identified the victims as Capt. Christopher S. Stover and Capt. Sean M. Ruane, who were piloting the plane, and Tech. Sgt. Dale E. Mathews, and SSgt Afton M. Ponce.

“We continue to think of the loved ones who are experiencing such a tragic, sudden loss,” said Col. Kyle Robinson, 48th Fighter Wing commander.

Fighters urged to go as supplies wane

BAGHDAD (AP) — Tribal leaders in the besieged city of Fallujah warned al-Qaida-linked fighters to leave to avoid a military showdown, echoing a call by Iraq’s prime minister Wednesday they give up their fight as the government pushes to regain control of mainly Sunni areas west of Baghdad.

The warning came as gunmen attacked an Iraqi army barracks in a Sunni area north of Baghdad, killing 12 soldiers. Seven soldiers were wounded in the assault in Diyala province, authorities said.

The United Nations and the Red Cross, meanwhile, said Fallujah and nearby areas are facing mounting humanitarian concerns as food and water supplies start to run out.

Sectarian tensions have been on the rise for months in Sunni-dominated Anbar province as minority Sunnis protested what they perceive as discrimination and random arrests by the Shiite-led government.

India eyes perks of US diplomats

NEW DELHI (AP) — India chipped away at America’s diplomatic perks Wednesday, ordering the envoys to obey local traffic laws and warning a popular U.S. Embassy club violates diplomatic law because it is open to outsiders.

The moves were the latest in a campaign to exert pressure on the U.S. following the arrest and strip search last month of Devyani Khobragade, an Indian diplomat based in New York City. Indian officials called the strip search barbaric and unnecessary.

Khobragade, 39, is accused of paying her Indian maid less than the U.S. minimum wage and lying about it on a visa application. She pleaded not guilty to fraud charges and is free on bail.

The case caused an outcry in India, where the idea of an educated, middle-class woman facing a strip search is seen as outrageous.


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