Three police officers charged over shooting death of 8-year-old girl – National & International News – WED 19Jan2022



Officers charged in shooting death of 8-year-old girl. Airlines cancel, delay flights in U.S. over 5G row. Ukraine prepares for war despite diplomatic push.




Three police officers charged over shooting of 8-year-old girl

Back in August, three police officers in Delaware County, PA, were monitoring a crowd of people leaving a high school football game. At the crowd filed out, gunshots rang out and Officers Devon Smith, Sean Dolan, and Brian Devaney returned fire. They fired toward a car where they believed the shots had originated. They struck people in the car and others leaving the event. It later came to light the two women in the car had not fired the shots. At least 4 of the 5 people shot were struck by the officers themselves. One of them was 8-year-old Fanta Bility, who died of her injuries.

Initially, authorities charged two teens- Angelo “AJ” Ford, 16, and Hasein Strand, 18- in connection with the initial gunshots. But the Delware County District Attorney’s office announced yesterday that they were dropping the murder charges against Ford and Strand in Fanta Bility’s death. Both Ford and Strand will be facing other charges for their role in the night’s mayhem. The DA has now charged Officers Smith, Dolan, and Devaney with a total of twelve criminal counts of manslaughter and reckless endangerment in connection with Bility’s death and other injuries at the scene.

This is an unusual development because the typical presumption is that if a suspect’s actions lead to police killing innocent bystanders, the suspect is criminally responsible for those deaths. In this case, the DA has concluded that the officers’ actions were reckless enough to warrant charges.

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Airlines cancel, delay flights in U.S. over 5G concerns 

For months, U.S. airlines have been voicing concerns over the potential impact of the 5G rollout on onboard navigational systems. Specifically, airlines are worried that the frequency used by AT&T and Verizon’s wireless networks is too close to that used by altimeters on some older aircraft. Altimeters measure the difference between the plane and the ground and can be crucial when flying in less than ideal weather conditions.

Experts say the dispute arose in 2020 when the FCC sold those frequencies to the telecoms giants for billions of dollars without in-depth consultation with the FAA and airlines. Yesterday, AT&T and Verizon said they would delay activating 5G equipment in close proximity to certain airports. But that last minute decision has not appeased the airlines, several of which have canceled or delayed flights today.

United Airlines is advising customers who are angry about flight delays to take it up with the FCC. Several major international airlines have also canceled flights to the U.S., but many are flying as normal.

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Blinken steps up diplomatic push to head off Russian invasion of Ukraine

This week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is traveling across Europe, shoring up alliances and making a final push to find a diplomatic solution in the Russia-Ukraine standoff. Blinken is currently in Ukraine, speaking with President Volodymyr Zelensky. Zelensky has been adamant that there should be no agreement with Russia about Ukraine’s future without Ukraine’s participation.

From Kyev, Blinken will fly to Germany to meet with NATO allies, before flying to Geneva for new talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. Blinken warns that with Russia increasing its already 100,000-strong troop presence on Ukraine’s border, an invasion could come at “very short notice”.

In Ukraine, volunteers are training up as part of a WWII-style home guard. The volunteers are largely people who are too old for active military service, some of them veterans. They’re receiving training to fend off potential Russian incursions into their towns and cities.

Peter Zwack, a former U.S. Army Brigadier General, has sized up the situation and says that a Russian invasion of Ukraine may prove more costly for Russia and Vladimir Putin than the 2014 annexation of Crimea. Zwack says Ukrainians are now better prepared and more willing to fight for their homeland than was the case in 2014. The U.S. will also be providing the Ukrainian military with defensive weapons.

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