TIME

LaGuardia Flight Passenger: ‘I Thought About Captain Sully’

"It looked like we were going into the water"

A passenger on the Delta flight that skidded off the runway upon its landing at a snowy LaGuardia Airport in New York City on Thursday says he “thought about Sully Sullenberger” as the out-of-control plane veered toward Flushing Bay.

Robert “Bo”Cramer, 26, was on Delta Flight 1086 traveling from Atlanta to LaGuardia Airport. “You could tell visibility was bad coming in,” he said, “but you could see the runway and the river.”

“It felt like a hard landing, like the brakes were released,” he said. Passengers shrieked as the airplane skidded off the runway and toward the water of Flushing Bay, the Merrill Lynch adviser added, reminding him of the U.S. Airways plane crash in January 2009 when Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger crash landed the jet in the Hudson River. “As we got closer to the water, it looked like we were going into the water… I thought about Sully Sulzberger.”

But once the wing hit the embankment and the fence, he continued, “you could tell we were slowing down.” The plane came to a halt just feet away from the water surrounding the runway.

The Delta staff did a “good job” of ushering passengers off the plane in the immediate aftermath of the accident, Cramer said. “There was a while when they were trying to figure out what happened as well… It felt like a very long time, but it was over before you knew it.”

At least six people were injured when the Delta jet left the runway upon its arrival to LaGuardia airport. The runways have been shut down until at least 6pm Thursday afternoon.

TIME

Real TIME: Plane Skids Off Runway At LaGuardia

A Delta airplane skidded off the runway and crashed into a fence at LaGuardia Airport in New York City on Thursday.

Watch #RealTIME, and read more here.

TIME Know Right Now

Know Right Now: Ringling Bros Circuses Drop Elephant Acts

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced Thursday it would eliminate its iconic elephant acts by 2018.

Watch today’s #KnowRightNow, and click here for more on this story.

TIME Crime

Jodi Arias Escapes Death Penalty After Jury Deadlocked on Sentencing

Jodi Arias looks toward the gallery during the sentencing phase retrial in Phoenix
reuters Jodi Arias looks toward the gallery during the sentencing phase retrial in Phoenix on March 3, 2015.

Jodi Arias, who was convicted in 2013 of murdering her ex-boyfriend, will avoid the death penalty after the jury in her sentencing could not agree on a verdict.

After more than 20 hours of deliberations, the jury was unable to come to a unanimous consensus Thursday morning about whether Arias should receive the death penalty or life in prison for the brutal murder of her ex-boyfriend in 2008. This means Arias’s sentencing will rest with the judge, who will decide if she receives life in prison or life with the possibility of early release.

Elizabeth Erwin, an ABC reporter in the courtroom, tweeted that multiple jurors cried with the family of the victim when the hung jury announcement was made:

Arias was convicted of murder in 2013 in a trial that became a media sensation for salacious details about her relationship with the victim and the gruesome manner in which he was killed. Arias was found guilty of killing her former boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in 2008 by stabbing him 27 times, slitting his throat and shooting him in the face while he showered. She said she acted in self-defense.

TIME Aviation

Plane Slides Off the Runway at New York’s LaGuardia Airport

No one appears to be seriously injured

A Delta airplane carrying 127 passengers skidded off the runway and crashed into a fence at LaGuardia airport in New York City while landing in snowy conditions on Thursday. Twenty-four people suffered minor injuries, and three were transported to local hospital, officials said.

More than a dozen firefighters arrived to the scene to help passengers off the plane that flew in from Atlanta. A small fuel spill occurred but was said to be under control. The Federal Aviation Administration said the airport had been closed and was not expected to reopen until 6:59 p.m. E.T.

A TIME reporter on the scene observed at least one passenger on a stretcher in Terminal D and what appeared to be multiple emergency vehicles on the runway. All passengers were moved to the Delta Sky Club.

One passenger told the reporter that it “looked like we were going into the water.”

More than 4,000 flights have been canceled within, into or out of the U.S., according to FlightAware.

Eyewitnesses and others reacted to the incident on social media:

Thank God! No one hurt 🙏 we could of ended up in the water! #survive #thankgod #ice #safelanding

A video posted by vee_estchic (@vee_estchic) on

New York Giants player Larry Donnell was apparently on the flight and posted a video on Instagram:

Look at this shit! Knew I shoulda stayed my ass at home

A video posted by Larry Donnell (@beyond_greatnes) on

TIME animals

Why the Circus Is Saying Goodbye to Elephants

The social nature of elephants makes captivity for them a "living death"

On Thursday, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced they would phase out their iconic elephant acts by 2018. The decision was spurred by public concern about the treatment of elephants in circuses, and perhaps a growing understanding that being kept as an entertainment spectacle is emotionally damaging to the sensitive, intelligent animals.

Elephants are social creatures in the wild with close-knit family units. They even perform funeral rituals and spend weeks mourning their dead. So those that have long been in circuses and zoos can come to exhibit symptoms of depression, aggression or post-traumatic stress disorder, most likely as a result of the confinement and isolation.

In 2006, the New York Times article described the trauma elephants undergo in captivity: “Being kept in relative confinement and isolation [is] a kind of living death for an animal as socially developed and dependent as we now know elephants to be,” author Charles Siebert wrote.

There have been many reports of elephants in captivity experiencing abuse by their handlers. In 2011, Mother Jones published a year-long investigation into Ringling Bros.’ treatment of its elephants. Among its claims:

Ringling elephants spend most of their long lives either in chains or on trains, under constant threat of the bullhook, or ankus—the menacing tool used to control elephants. They are lame from balancing their 8,000-pound frames on tiny tubs and from being confined in cramped spaces, sometimes for days at a time. They are afflicted with tuberculosis and herpes, potentially deadly diseases rare in the wild and linked to captivity.

Feld Entertainment, owner of Ringling Bros, said that its elephants were in fact “pampered performers” who “are trained through positive reinforcement, a system of repetition and reward that encourages an animal to show off its innate athletic abilities.”

But apparently Ringling is slowly coming to understand that keeping elephants in bondage, animals with a highly developed emotional intelligence, places an uncomfortable mirror on humanity. The New York Times article describes a former circus elephant who had turned violent: “She and the others have suffered, we now understand, not simply because of us, but because they are, by and large, us.”

TIME Crime

Nebraska Considers Eliminating the Death Penalty

Miriam Thimm Kelle, left, whose brother James Thimm was tortured and killed on a southeast Nebraska farm in 1985, is hugged by Byron Peterson of Scottsbluff, after she testified in favor of a law proposal to change the death penalty to life imprisonment without parole, during a hearing before the Judiciary Committee in Lincoln, Neb., March 4, 2015.
Nati Harnik—AP Miriam Thimm Kelle, left, whose brother James Thimm was tortured and killed on a southeast Nebraska farm in 1985, is hugged by Byron Peterson of Scottsbluff, after she testified in favor of a law proposal to change the death penalty to life imprisonment without parole, during a hearing before the Judiciary Committee in Lincoln, Neb., March 4, 2015.

With support from Republican lawmakers

Nebraska legislators are considering a bill that would eliminate the state’s death penalty, receiving significant support from Republican lawmakers and family members of murder victims.

MORE: Georgia Postpones 2 Executions Over ‘Cloudy’ Drugs

Dozens of people rallied at the Capitol in Lincoln, Neb., Wednesday night in support of a bill that would do away with death sentences,the Associated Press reports, and replace them with life without the possibility of parole.

More than two dozen relatives of murder victims signed a letter supporting the bill, saying that the time between a conviction and an actual execution can be painful for families who see their loved one’s name appear in the news during appeals and often decades-long delays.

MORE: Ohio Looks to Shield Lethal Injection Drugmakers

Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers, an Independent, has worked to eliminate the state’s death penalty for years but appears to have more support this time around, especially from Republicans who make up the majority of the state’s nonpartisan legislature. The Journal Star reports that seven GOP senators have signed onto the bill.

While the legislation will likely make it out of committee, the bill may still face a veto if passed from Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, who has supported the death penalty in the past.

Since 2007, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Connecticut and Maryland have eliminated the death penalty, and currently 32 states still enforce capital punishment. Last month, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf put an effective moratorium on executions in the state in part over fears of putting innocent people to death.

Nebraska currently has 11 people on death row.

[AP]

TIME States

Indiana Moves to Regulate E-Cig Liquids

Man demonstrates an e-cigarette at Vape store in Chicago in 2014.
Nam Y. Huh—AP Man demonstrates an e-cigarette at Vape store in Chicago in 2014.

States are moving on electronic cigarettes where the feds aren't

Indiana moved closer this week to regulating the liquids that are used in electronic cigarettes, a regulatory focus that goes beyond the measures states and municipalities have been enacting for months.

The bill advanced by a state Senate committee and already passed by the state House would establish requirements for manufacturing safety standards, a ban on the sale of e-cig liquid to minors, and child-proof safety caps, the Associated Press reports. The movement comes as local governments increasingly look to regulate a cigarette alternative that is growing in popularity in the absence of federal rules.

The bill in Indiana would not extend a smoking ban to so-called vaping, something health advocates and the state attorney general had sought. But electronic cigarette business owners told lawmaers that the regulations could force businesses to close.

MORE: The Future of Smoking

The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a regulatory blueprint for regulation that would subject electronic cigarettes to the same regulations that apply to new tobacco products, and require disclosure of ingredients in the liquids used, among other things. But it could be many months, or even years, before these rules are enacted.

[AP]

TIME Crime

Watch Live: Michael Brown Family Addresses Ferguson Report

The family of Michael Brown is holding a news conference to respond to the Department of Justice’s decision to not charge a Ferguson, Mo., police officer with civil rights violations in last year’s shooting.

Watch it live above.

TIME NFL

Former NFLer Says the League Should Permit Pot

Former Denver Bronco Nate Jackson speaks during a cannabis industry expo in Denver, March 4, 2015.
Brennan Linsley—AP Former Denver Bronco Nate Jackson speaks during a cannabis industry expo in Denver, March 4, 2015.

A former tight end says pot may be a safer alternative to prescription pain meds

Former Denver Broncos tight end Nate Jackson said Wednesday that he thinks the NFL will eventually allow players to use marijuana.

“They’re aware that probably over half of their players smoke weed,” Jackson said at a marijuana business conference, in remarks reported by the Associated Press. “They’ve been doing it since they were teenagers. The fact that they’ve been doing it that whole time and still made it to the NFL and are able to satisfy the demands of very, very strict employers on a daily basis means that their marijuana use is in check.”

Jackson argued the NFL would eventually change its policy because, he said, the drug is a safer alternative for injured players looking to medicate than highly addictive prescription pain pills. “I feel like I exited the game with my mind intact,” said Jackson, who played six seasons for the Broncos. “And I credit that to marijuana in a lot of ways and not getting hooked on these pain pills that are recklessly distributed in the league when a guy gets an injury.”

An NFL spokesman said that “at this time, the medical advisers to our drug program tell us that there is no need for medical marijuana to be prescribed to an NFL player.”

MORE: The Rise of Fake Pot

[AP]

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