TIME

Congressman Mistakes U.S. Officials For Indian Ones

"I am familiar with your country, I love your country," Florida Congressmember Curt Clawson told high-ranking U.S. officials Nisha Biswal and Arun Kumar

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Rep. Curt Clawson, a freshman Republican congressman from Florida, mistook two senior U.S. officials for representatives of the Indian government during a House hearing on Friday.

“I am familiar with your country, I love your country,” Clawson said to Nisha Biswal and Arun Kumar, addressing fellow U.S. citizens who hold high-ranking positions in the State Department and Commerce Department, respectively.

“Just as your capital is welcome here to produce good-paying jobs in the U.S., I’d like our capital to be welcome there,” he told Biswal and Kumar. “I ask cooperation and commitment and priority from your government in so doing. Can I have that?”

After a lingering silence, Clawson smiles slowly. Kumar appears to grin, while Biswal echoes Clawson’s sentiment, informing him it should probably be directed to the Indian government. It’s unclear whether Clawson realized his error.

Nisha Biswal serves as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, while Arun Kumar is Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the US and Foreign Commercial Service. Both were introduced was U.S. officials before testifying before the House Asia and Pacific subcommittee, according to Foreign Policy.

TIME Television

WATCH: The Walking Dead Season 5 Trailer Debuts at Comic-Con

AMC unveiled the trailer for the upcoming season of the popular zombie series

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The trailer for Season 5 of AMC’s The Walking Dead debuted at Comic-Con on Friday — and it features new series regular Gareth, a long trek towards Washington to cure the epidemic, and plenty of blood-spattering human-on-zombie violence. Yep, there’s guns, a crossbow, a sword, a firehose, a baseball bat — and that’s just the beginning.

The new season will debut on October 12.

TIME movies

X-Men Director Bryan Singer Dismissed from Sex Abuse Suit

Director Bryan Singer attends the 22nd Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's Oscar Viewing Party on March 2, 2014 in Los Angeles.
Director Bryan Singer attends the 22nd Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's Oscar Viewing Party on March 2, 2014 in Los Angeles. Frederick M. Brown—Getty Images

The X-Men director has been dismissed from a sex abuse lawsuit, but others are still pending

Bryan Singer, who directed several films in the X-Men series, has been dismissed from a federal sex abuse case filed in May by a British actor identified only as “John Doe.” Singer filed a motion to dismiss a few weeks ago, arguing that Doe’s suit was without merit.

“We are pleased the case was dismissed,” said Marty Singer, the director’s attorney, to the Hollywood Reporter.

The original suit claimed that the director had attempted to rape a then-17-year-old in a London hotel room. Singer has denied the allegation. Other suits filed against the X-Men director alleging underage sex abuse are still pending.

The three films in the franchise that Singer directed—X-Men, X-Men 2, and X-Men: Days of Future Past—have grossed over $600 million, according to Box Office Mojo. He will also direct X-Men: Apocalypse, which is in pre-production and slated to release in 2016.

[Hollywood Reporter]

 

TIME Canada

Flight Makes Emergency Landing Due to ‘Agitated’ Passenger

The Sunwing flight headed to Panama was forced to return to Toronto after a passenger allegedly made threats concerning the plane's security

Sunwing Flight 772 was forced to make an emergency landing in Toronto at 8:55AM Friday because an “agitated customer made a direct threat against the aircraft,” an official at the Canadian airline said in a statement. The plane, which had departed at 7:00AM, was originally headed to Panama City.

Two U.S. F16 fighter jets from Toledo, Ohio were sent to escort the plane back to the airport, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) told Canada’s CBC News. Several officers with drawn guns boarded and removed the unruly passenger after the plane landed, one passenger told CBC. A Sunwing official said that the passenger was arrested by Peel police and is currently in custody, and that the craft is undergoing a “full security inspection” before returning to service.

Recent weeks have seen a rash of aviation disasters, with the crash of AH5017 in Mali, the crash of GE222 in Taiwan, and the downing of MH 17 in Ukraine last week.

 

TIME Ukraine

Experts: MH17 Victims Could Have Remained Conscious During Fall

A firefighter and an armed man look at the remains and the corpses of passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that was shot down over eastern Ukraine, July 17, 2014.
A firefighter and an armed man look at the remains and the corpses of passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that was shot down over eastern Ukraine, July 17, 2014. Jerome Sessini—Magnum

A forensic analysis of the disaster

In the aftermath of the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet, it has been widely assumed that death—or at least unconsciousness—came quickly for the 298 people aboard when the Boeing 777 came apart in the oxygen-thin, cold air at 33,000 feet. But some medical and aviation experts who spoke to TIME are questioning this assumption.

As photos from the MH17 debris field near Gravobo, Ukraine, have shown, many of the victims’ bodies appeared completely intact after falling from a great altitude. TIME asked experts to review photographs from the scene and found a minority view: some victims may have survived the aircraft’s disintegration and even experienced consciousness during the fall to Earth. The images were taken by French photographer Jerome Sessini, who was among the first at the crash site, and they focused on plane debris and victims’ bodies. (Some of Sessini’s work was recently published by TIME, but the photos reviewed by the experts also included images of human remains considered inappropriate for publication.)

The intact bodies are not out of the ordinary, according to Dr. Michael Baden, the former chief medical examiner of New York City and chief forensic pathologist for the New York State Police. Baden has investigated high-profile plane disasters like the TWA 800 crash in 1996 and the 2010 crash of a Polish government jet near Smolensk, Russia, that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski. As Baden explained, objects falling through the air reach what is called terminal velocity, an upper limit on speed dictated by such variables as air density and the falling object’s surface area—but not the height from which it is dropped. For a human body, terminal velocity is about 120 mph (193 k/h). Impact at that speed inflicts devastating internal injuries, but the skin tends to remain intact.

Baden says that many of the victims did exhibit minor burns and shrapnel wounds, most of which appeared non-lethal. He says this suggests that some of the passengers could have been alive and even conscious during their descent.

“The cause of death in the great majority of these people would have been impact with the ground,” he said. Unless they were affected by the initial explosions or shrapnel, and absent some pre-existing condition like lung or heart disease, they would have remained alive and even been conscious at some point during the approximately 3-to-4-minute fall.

“Even if there’s no oxygen, you’d catch your breath in four minutes,” he said. “You might have some brain damage, but you’d be alive, and you could be conscious,” he said. Autopsies, at least when there is such extensive damage to the head and brain, cannot allow doctors to pinpoint when exactly consciousness was lost, so it might never be possible to know for sure if Baden is right.

The deceleration that occurred as a result of the attack—which could have been the equivalent of driving into a wall at 500 mph—might have been less sudden than has been assumed. The Russian-made SA-11 suspected to have been used in the attack is designed not to strike the aircraft directly, but to explode before impact, instead releasing a cloud of shrapnel.

“The deceleration itself wouldn’t be rapid, it would almost be like someone pulling back on the throttles perhaps,” says Robert Benzon, a former Air Force pilot and veteran accident investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, now retired. Benzon speculated based on the nature of the missile that the decompression may have been somewhat gradual, and could have been survivable in the short term. “In my estimation what you’d have is a lot of small holes in the airplane,” he says, “so the decompression itself would be pretty slow.”

Several bodies were found still strapped into their seats. Robert Goyer, who is editor-in-chief of Flying magazine, said that airliner seats are designed to withstand tremendous G-forces, sometimes more than a human body can sustain. Even when the seat itself is torn from the surrounding structure of the plane, people are likely to remain belted in. He cited Juliane Koepcke, who in 1971 survived a two-mile fall into the Amazon rainforest, strapped to her seat all the while.

Photographs indicate that those who did stay in their seats tended to retain all of their clothing, but other passengers were found in states of undress. While Goyer said that it was common to see bodies stripped of clothes after falling a long distance through the air, Baden suspected other causes.

“You can lose a shirt or a headband or maybe even a jacket, but not pants and underwear and shoes and socks. It would seem to me, given the situation, that looters came,” he said. As further evidence, he noted indications in the photos that some of the bodies appeared to have been moved around, based on lividity—the dark discoloration of the skin that occurs in the lowest parts of the body, as blood settles due to gravity. (When this discolored skin is seen facing up, it suggests that a part of the body previously low to the ground was shifted from that position.) Baden also observed that none of the bodies pictured appeared to be wearing watches or jewelry.

The investigation into the tragedy was initially hindered by strife in the region, with some reports suggesting that rebels have threatened investigators, tampered with the plane debris, and moved bodies around. The Dutch government has since succeeded in negotiating the release of some of the passengers’ remains, which were kept on refrigerated train cars and eventually flown back to the Netherlands for a more thorough forensic examination.

TIME Baseball

Baseball Tips Its Cap to Derek Jeter in Farewell Video

Teammates, rivals, and fans both celebrity and local join in

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New York Yankees veteran Derek Jeter, who has announced that he’ll retire after the current season, earns a lot of respect in a new commercial from Jordan Brand, the Nike subsidiary that has endorsed him since 1999.

As Jeter gets ready to bat, he notices that he’s being saluted by the opposing pitcher, fans in the crowd, famous people in the crowd (including Spike Lee), New York City cops and firefighters, rappers Jay Z and Action Bronson, athletes Carmelo Anthony and Tiger Woods, begrudging players on rival teams, and, eventually, Michael Jordan himself.

This is Nike’s farewell to a player who’s been celebrated for his character both on and off the field for two decades. It will air during Tuesday’s All-Star game, which will be Jeter’s 14th, and last.

TIME beauty

Miss Florida Just Lost Her Crown Because of a Voting Error

Beauty queen dethroned due to "error in the tabulation process"

Elizabeth Fechtel was crowned Miss Florida on June 21, but enjoyed her title for only a few days before it was revoked Friday due to the discovery of an “error in the tabulation process.

First runner-up Victoria Cowen was given the crown instead after an independent audit and review of the ballots revealed that she had actually earned the highest score, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

The pageant coordinators did not cite any specific details about the error in their official statement. The family was told that “in the last 15 seconds of the time allotted to vote, [one judge] drew lines to reverse his first vote,” mother Dixie Fechtel wrote in an email to the Times.

[Tampa Bay Times]

TIME movies

Jason Bateman to Direct and Star in an ‘FBI Wedding Comedy’

ABC's "Good Morning America" - 2014
Jason Bateman is a guest on "Good Morning America," on May 28, 2014 on the ABC Television Network. Fred Lee—ABC/Getty Images

He's making his third trip to the director's chair

Jason Bateman will do double-duty as star and director of an upcoming “FBI wedding comedy” for Universal Pictures. The studio has yet to release a timeline or title for the movie, Variety reports.

This marks Bateman’s third trip to the director’s chair. He is currently in pre-production for The Family Fang, and he made his directorial debut with Bad Words in 2013.

Universal bought the rights to the project from Warner Bros back in 2011. At the time, Steve Carell was expected to star.

[Variety]

 

TIME World Cup

World Cup Scores a Big Ratings Goal in the U.S.

Americans watched in big numbers

Soccer is gaining some serious traction stateside.

Thursday’s World Cup match between Germany and the U.S. attracted an average audience of more than 12 million across ESPN’s audio, television, and digital platforms, the network said Friday. It also notched a U.S. household rating of 6.7, making it the second-highest rated soccer game in the network’s history, as well as the the third-most viewed.

That rating was exceeded only by June 22′s U.S.-Portugal game, which scored a U.S. household rating of 9.7 and was the most-viewed soccer game ever across all U.S. networks, averaging 18 million viewers. Nielsen reports that a total of 24.7 million Americans tuned into the matchup against Portugal that day, which places it solidly ahead of the NBA Finals’ 18 million average viewers, but still well short of NFL numbers—the last Super Bowl drew an average of 111.5 million viewers.

TIME Drugs

Los Angeles Is Getting a Farmers’ Market for Pot

Legalizing Marijuana
Marijuana is displayed during the grand opening of the Seattle location of the Northwest Cannabis Market, for sales of medical marijuana products, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. Elaine Thompson—AP

Farm-to-table marijuana

Say hello to the newest addition to the farmers’ market: marijuana.

Los Angeles medical-marijuana users will soon be able to buy their product straight from the people who grew it, according to Paizley Bradbury, executive administrator of the California Heritage Market. The farmers’ market is set to open the weekend of July 4, and anyone with a medical-marijuana card will be able to walk through and check out the booths, where vendors will peddle cannabis flowers, edibles and more.

“It’s going to be so much easier for patients to get their medicine at a more affordable rate, and something that they can trust,” Bradbury tells TIME. “They can say ‘How did you grow this? Is it organic? What kind of nutrients did you use? What kind of strain is this?’ There’s just so much more behind it.”

Bradbury hopes direct patient-farmer contact will protect customers from what she calls the major problems in the industry: big markups from brokers who shuttle the product from farms to dispensaries, and dishonest practices by dispensaries, which Bradbury says sometimes post inaccurate analyses of the product hoping the average consumer won’t know any better.

The California Heritage Market hopes to keep running every weekend, provided it does not hit any legal barriers. Bradbury says she has been working very closely with an in-house lawyer to ensure everything goes smoothly.

“With this industry, you just never really know how things are going to turn out until after you do it,” she says.

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