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story.lead_photo.caption An emergency team searches for wreckage Tuesday at the scene of a plane crash in Stepanovskoye, Russia, in this photo provided by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry.

Pilot error cited in Russia plane crash

MOSCOW -- Human error may be to blame for the Russian plane crash that killed 71 people, Russian investigators said Tuesday, noting that the plane's pilots failed to turn on the heating unit for its measuring equipment, resulting in flawed speed data.

After studying the An-148's flight data recorder, the Interstate Aviation Committee said Sunday's crash near Moscow occurred after the pilots saw conflicting data on the plane's two air speed indicators.

The flawed readings came because the pilots failed to turn on the heating unit for the plane's pressure measurement equipment before takeoff, the committee said.

The pilots had placed the An-148 on autopilot after taking off from Moscow's Domodedovo Airport but took manual control when they heard alarm signals warning of conflicting speed data. One indicator showed the plane's speed at zero, investigators said.

The pilots then performed a series of maneuvers and eventually took the plane into a dive at 30-35 degrees. It plummeted into a snowy field outside of Moscow six minutes after takeoff, killing all 65 passengers and six crew members onboard.

Haiti leader reviles charity in sex case

LONDON -- Haiti's president condemned the British charity Oxfam on Tuesday over a sexual misconduct scandal, describing the alleged misbehavior of aid workers handling earthquake recovery efforts as a violation of basic human decency.

The comments from Haitian President Jovenel Moise add to the condemnation that the anti-poverty charity has received since The Times of London revealed last week that some Oxfam employees paid for sex while working in Haiti among people devastated by the 2010 earthquake.

"There is nothing more shameful than a sexual predator using the veil of catastrophe as a means to exploit the vulnerable in their most defenseless moments," Moise said Tuesday. "What transpired is a violation of basic human decency."

Also Tuesday, Britain's charity watchdog opened an inquiry into how Oxfam handled the allegations of sexual abuse in Haiti in 2011.

Documents provided by Oxfam have led to further questions and suggest that the charity did not have "fully and frankly disclosed material details about the allegations at the time," the Charity Commission said.

Mexico saves 1 U.S. climber, a 2nd dies

MEXICO CITY -- The U.S. Embassy in Mexico said Tuesday that a member of the U.S. diplomatic mission has died after a climbing accident on Mexico's Pico de Orizaba mountain.

Members of a diplomatic mission can include embassy employees, their families and some support personnel. The embassy did not specify whether or in what rank the climbers were employed, nor did it release their names or hometowns because of privacy concerns.

But the embassy said in a statement that "we are extremely grateful to the Government of Mexico for its prompt assistance in the operation to rescue two U.S. citizen climbers."

Mexican rescue teams using helicopters battled bad weather for two days to rescue the two American climbers, saving one of them. The rescued climber was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Mexico City. It was not clear what his condition was.

Arrest warrant for Assange upheld

LONDON -- A judge upheld a British arrest warrant for Julian Assange on Tuesday, saying the WikiLeaks founder should have the courage to go to court and face justice after more than five years inside Ecuador's London embassy.

Judge Emma Arbuthnot rejected arguments by Assange's lawyers that it is no longer in the public interest to arrest him for jumping bail in 2012 and seeking shelter in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden. Prosecutors there were investigating allegations of sexual assault and rape made by two women, which Assange has denied.

In her ruling at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court, Arbuthnot said that by jumping bail Assange had made "a determined attempt to avoid the order of the court."

She said Assange appeared to be "a man who wants to impose his terms on the course of justice."

Assange can seek to appeal, though his lawyers did not immediately say whether he would.

Swedish prosecutors dropped their investigation last year, saying there was no prospect of taking Assange to Sweden in the foreseeable future. But the British warrant for violating bail conditions still stands, and Assange faces arrest if he leaves the embassy.

Police stop Tuesday outside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lived for more than five years while trying to avoid arrest.

A Section on 02/14/2018

Print Headline: Arrest warrant for Assange upheld Pilot error cited in Russia plane crash Haiti leader reviles charity in sex case Mexico saves 1 U.S. climber, a 2nd dies

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