- - Tuesday, April 19, 2011


First lady’s plane diverted to avert mishap

Air-traffic controllers directed a plane carrying first lady Michelle Obama to abort a landing at Andrews Air Force Base because it was too close to a military cargo jet, officials said Tuesday.

A Boeing 737 belonging to the Air National Guard, one of several Guard planes used by the White House, came within about three miles of a massive C-17 as the planes were approaching Andrews shortly after 5 p.m. Monday to land, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and Maj. Michelle Lai, a spokeswoman for Andrews.

The FAA requires a minimum separation of five miles between two planes when the plane in the lead is as large as the 200-ton cargo jet, in order to avoid dangerous wake turbulence that can severely affect the trailing aircraft.


Cantor, Kyl put on panel

The No. 2 Republicans in the House and Senate have been named to a deficit panel led by Vice President Joseph R. Biden that is tasked with developing a bipartisan plan to curb federal budget deficits.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona join several Democratic stalwarts on the panel, which meets next month. President Barack Obama set up the panel last week.

It’s the second such panel for Mr. Obama, who largely ignored the bipartisan but politically painful cuts and revenue increases the first panel came up with last year. The new group comes as must-pass legislation to maintain the government’s ability to borrow comes to a head. Both Mr. Obama and Republicans say spending cuts must be part of that effort.


WWI documents set for release

The CIA is declassifying secrets for writing with invisible ink and even opening sealed letters without detection: state-of-the-art spying techniques from World War I.

Six secret documents, made available on the CIA’s website Tuesday, show how diplomats and generals of yesteryear got the drop on each other. There’s a document written in French about the German’s secret ink formula, showing that the French had cracked the German code.

CIA Director Leon Panetta says it’s possible to reveal these secrets now because the old methods have been far outpaced by recent advances in the chemistry of secret ink and the lighting methods used to detect it.

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