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March 5, 2013 at 10:02 PM   |   Comments

Pilot spots drone near New York airport

NEW YORK, March 5 (UPI) -- Federal aviation officials say they are looking into a report a drone aircraft was spotted by a commercial pilot who was landing at a New York City airport.

The Alitalia pilot was on final approach to John F. Kennedy International Airport when he reported the sighting, ABC News reported Tuesday.

"We saw a drone, a drone aircraft," the pilot told the control tower. Another pilot later reported a similar sighting.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the unmanned aircraft was flying at an altitude of about 1,500 feet, CNN reported.

The drone was about four to five miles west of the airport, the FAA said in a statement.

The Alitalia pilot did not take evasive action and the flight landed safely, the FAA said.

Other planes approaching the JFK runways were advised of the drone report by air traffic controllers, but at least two other pilots said they did not see it.


Kerry says Iran closer to nuclear weapons

DOHA, Qatar, March 5 (UPI) -- Iran is moving closer to developing a nuclear weapon, John Kerry conceded in an interview after his first foreign trip as U.S. secretary of state.

In an interview with ABC News in Doha, Qatar, Kerry acknowledged Tuesday that despite continued diplomacy and tough economic sanctions against Iran, the regime continues to get closer to possessing nuclear weapons.

"Lines have been drawn before and they've been passed. The region would be far less stable and far more threatened if Iran were to have a nuclear weapon," Kerry told interviewer Martha Raddatz.

Simply having a nuclear weapon would "spur a nuclear arms race" in the Mideast and could be used to support terrorists groups like Hezbollah, he said.


TSA to relax carry-on rules for knives

WASHINGTON, March 5 (UPI) -- U.S. transportation officials said Tuesday they will relax rules on what passengers may carry on airline flights and will focus more on "higher threat items."

In a news release, the Transportation Security Administration said beginning April 25, passengers will be permitted to carry "knives that do not lock, and have blades that are 2.36 inches or 6 centimeters or less in length and are less than 1/2 inch in width" -- as well as "novelty-sized and toy bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and two golf clubs" as part of their carry-on baggage.

"This is part of an overall Risk-Based Security approach, which allows Transportation Security Officers to better focus their efforts on finding higher threat items such as explosives," the announcement said.

The TSA said the change was intended to align U.S. rules "more closely with International Civil Aviation Organization standards" and reduce the amount of time required for passengers to go through screening.

Stacy K. Martin, president of Southwest Airlines' flight attendants union, TWU Local 556, criticized the new rule, saying it will result in threats to passengers and flight attendants, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Martin said the new rule will worsen the problem of crowded overhead bins on airliners.

"While we agree that a passenger wielding a small knife or swinging a golf club or hockey stick poses less of a threat to the pilot locked in the cockpit, these are real threats to passengers and flight attendants in the passenger cabin," Martin said.

The TSA said existing security measures -- including hardened cockpit doors, armed federal air marshals, armed pilots and crew members trained in self-defense -- will help preserve safety on airliners.


Casey Anthony pleads poverty in bankruptcy

TAMPA, Fla., March 5 (UPI) -- Casey Anthony, the Florida mother acquitted of killing her daughter Caylee, says she has little money and lives off "the kindness of those I'm living with."

Anthony revealed her financial status during a bankruptcy hearing in Tampa, WESH-TV, Orlando, reported Tuesday.

Anthony told the judge she had only $484 in cash.

"I don't pay rent. I don't pay utilities. I live off the kindness of those I'm living with. I try to contribute when I can," she said.

She added she had no current offers for a book, movie or interview.

A judge ordered Anthony to attend the Monday afternoon hearing with her creditors after denying a request last week for the hearing to be held in Orlando.

She was led through the front door of the building by attorney Cheney Mason, who shielded her from the throng of photographers.

Among her debts, Anthony owes $500,000 to Jose Baez, one of the attorneys who defended her in her murder trail.


Bush says no citizenship for undocumented

MIAMI, March 5 (UPI) -- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he favors "a path to citizenship where there isn't an incentive for people to come illegally," but he doubts it is possible.

Bush, in an appearance Tuesday on MSNBC, was responding to questions about a passage in a book he has co-written with conservative lawyer Clint Bolick, in which he says undocumented immigrants should not be able to become citizens.

"A grant of citizenship is an undeserving reward for conduct that we cannot afford to encourage," Bush writes in "Immigration Wars: Forming an American Solution."

That's a reversal of position for Bush -- a conservative Republican whose wife is from Mexico, and who has generally held a position on the issue that more liberal that his party's -- The Miami Herald said.

As governor from 1999 to 2007, he supported legislation that would have allowed immigrants in the country illegally to get drivers' licenses. Last year he backed a route to citizenship for undocumented workers, and in 2007 he pushed an immigration reform bill supported by his brother, former U.S. President George W. Bush.

During an interview Tuesday on MSNBC, the former Florida governor said any reform should be "forward-leaning" but said he doubted Congress can craft a law that provides for a path to citizenship without encouraging illegal immigration.

"Going forward, if there is a difference, if you can craft that in law where you can have a path to citizenship where there isn't an incentive for people to come illegally, I'm for it," Bush said. "I don't have a problem with that. I don't see how you do it, but I'm not smart enough to figure out every aspect of a really complex law."

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