Maryland Archives:

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (BNO NEWS) — Two coalition service members, one British soldier and one American soldier, have died of their injuries after being shot by insurgents in eastern and southern Afghanistan, officials said on Friday. It raises the number of coalition troops killed so far this year to 130.

The British Ministry of Defense said one of its soldiers was shot and killed Friday while on patrol in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand province, which is located in Afghanistan’s south. The soldier from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards was serving as part of Combined Force Nahr-e-Saraj (North) and was on a patrol to disrupt insurgent movements in the area.

“The thoughts and prayers of all in the Task Force and Combined Force are with his family and friends at this tragic time,” said Task Force Helmand spokesman Major Ian Lawrence. He said the soldier’s family have been informed and they have asked for a 24-hour period of grace before further details are released.

Also on Friday, the U.S. Department of Defense said 22-year-old Specialist Jason K. Edens, of Franklin, Tennessee, died Thursday at a hospital in Bethesda, Maryland of wounds sustained on April 15 when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire in Afghanistan’s Laghman province. Edens was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss in Texas.

The deaths on Thursday and Friday raise the number of coalition troops killed in Afghanistan so far this year to 130, most of them American and British service members, according to official figures. Three U.S. service members were killed on Thursday when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded in Afghanistan’s east.

A total of 566 ISAF troops were killed in Afghanistan in 2011, down from 711 in 2010. A majority of the fallen troops were American and were killed in the country’s south, which is plagued by IED attacks on troops and civilians.

There are currently more than 130,000 ISAF troops in Afghanistan, including some 90,000 U.S. troops and more than 9,500 British soldiers. U.S. President Barack Obama previously ordered a drawdown of 23,000 U.S. troops later this year, and foreign combat troops are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

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ATLANTA, GEORGIA (BNO NEWS) — A winning ticket for the record-breaking $640 million ‘Mega Millions’ jackpot was sold in Maryland, lottery officials confirmed on early Saturday. Winning tickets were also sold in several other states.

The Maryland Lottery said one of the winning tickets for Friday’s drawing had been purchased at a retailer in Baltimore County. “Lottery officials are waiting for information on jackpot winners from other Mega Millions states,” the lottery said in a statement, adding that several winning tickets had been sold nationwide.

State lottery officials said no one won the jackpot in California or Oregon. The winning numbers were 2 – 4 – 23 – 38 – 46 and Mega Ball 23.

The winner of the $640 million jackpot will have the option to receive the amount in annual payments over a 26-year period or to be paid $462 million immediately, although the prizes are still subject to federal, state and local taxes. Mega Millions is a multi-state lottery game played in 42 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — A fighter jet on late Friday afternoon intercepted a small plane near Camp David in Maryland, where U.S. President Barack Obama is spending the holiday weekend, officials said on Saturday.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said the incident happened at around 4.45 p.m. EDT when a F-15 fighter jet intercepted a Piper aircraft near Camp David, where temporary flight restrictions are in place due to Obama’s stay at the presidential country retreat.

A NORAD spokesperson said the civilian aircraft was out of radio communications when it flew into restricted airspace, prompting a fighter jet to be dispatched. The plane later landed at Martinsburg Airport in West Virginia without incident and its pilot was questioned by law enforcement.

The NORAD spokesperson gave no other details about the incident, but there was no indication that the plane had approached Camp David on purpose. Obama and the First Family arrived at Camp David on Friday afternoon and are spending the Labor Day weekend at the retreat.

There has been a series of similar incidents in recent months, many which happen in Washington, D.C. or when Obama visits Camp David. On August 4, two F-16 fighter jets intercepted a small Kitfox 2 aircraft near Chicago during a visit by Obama. The plane was forced to land at Mill Rose Farm airport where it was met by local authorities.

NORAD is tasked to prevent air attacks against North America and safeguard the sovereign airspaces of the United States and Canada by responding to unauthorized air activity approaching and operating within these airspaces, and provide aerospace and maritime warning for North America. It is allowed to monitor, shadow, divert from flight path, direct to land and even destroy targets which are deemed to be a security threat to North America.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — Two fighter jets on Saturday afternoon intercepted two small planes near Camp David in Maryland, where U.S. President Barack Obama is spending the weekend.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said two F-15E fighter jets were first alerted when a small plane out of radio communication entered an area where temporary flight restrictions are in place. The area is near Camp David, the country retreat of the president.

The fighter jets intercepted the small aircraft at around 12.17 p.m. EDT and escorted it out of the restricted airspace. “It landed without incident,” NORAD said in a brief statement, giving no other details.

Hours later, a Cessna 210 aircraft also entered temporarily restricted airspace near Camp David. The F-15E fighter jets were again dispatched and intercepted the civilian aircraft at approximately 6.56 p.m. EDT. “[The aircraft] landed at Carroll County Regional Airport where it was met by law enforcement,” NORAD said.

The statements gave no other details about the incidents, but there was no indication that the planes had approached Camp David on purpose. Obama and the First Family arrived at Camp David on Saturday and are spending the weekend at the retreat.

There has been a series of similar incidents in recent months. Just last Saturday, an F-15E fighter jet intercepted a small plane in the vicinity of Camp David. And on June 11, two F-15 fighter jets were alerted when a small Beechcraft Bonanza remained out of radio contact while near restricted airspace over Camp David.

NORAD is tasked to prevent air attacks against North America and safeguard the sovereign airspaces of the United States and Canada by responding to unknown, unwanted and unauthorized air activity approaching and operating within these airspaces, and provide aerospace and maritime warning for North America. It is allowed to monitor, shadow, divert from flight path, direct to land and destroy targets which are deemed to be a security threat to North America.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — Fighter jets on Saturday afternoon intercepted a small plane near Camp David in Maryland, where U.S. President Barack Obama is spending the weekend.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said two F-15 fighter jets out of Jacksonville International Airport in Florida were alerted as a small Beechcraft Bonanza remained out of radio contact while near restricted airspace over Camp David, the country retreat of the president.

The fighter jets intercepted the small aircraft at around 3.25 p.m. EDT when it was about 11 miles (17.7 kilometers) from Camp David. “[The jets] escorted the plane out of the area and it landed at Hagerstown, Md., without incident,” NORAD said in a statement.

The statement gave no other details, but there was no indication that the plane had approached Camp David on purpose. Obama and the First Family arrived at Camp David on Friday, and are spending the weekend at the retreat.

In mid-April, NORAD scrambled two F-16 fighter jets when a small aircraft entered restricted airspace in Washington, D.C. The fighter jets escorted the aircraft until the plane left the area.

NORAD is tasked to prevent air attacks against North America and safeguard the sovereign airspaces of the United States and Canada by responding to unknown, unwanted and unauthorized air activity approaching and operating within these airspaces, and provide aerospace and maritime warning for North America. It is allowed to monitor, shadow, divert from flight path, direct to land and destroy targets which are deemed to be a security threat to North America.

(Copyright 2012 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info: sales@bnonews.com.)

BETHESDA, MARYLAND (BNO NEWS) — Former World No. 1 golfer Tiger Woods has announced that he will miss the 2011 U.S. Open in Maryland due to injuries.

The U.S. Open, one of the four major championships in golf, is scheduled to be held from June 16 through June 19 in Bethesda, Maryland. Woods participated last year and finished three-over-par in a tie for fourth place.

But the golfer, whose career suffered dramatically when details about numerous extramarital affairs were published, recently was diagnosed with a Grade 1 mild medial collateral ligament sprain to his left knee and a mild strain to his left Achilles tendon suffered while hitting a second shot from under the Eisenhower tree at hole No. 17 during the third round at the Masters.

“I am extremely disappointed that I won’t be playing in the U.S. Open, but it’s time for me to listen to my doctors and focus on the future,” Woods said. “I was hopeful that I could play, but if I did, I risk further damage to my left leg. My knee and Achilles tendon are not fully healed. I hope to be ready for AT&T National, the next two majors and the rest of the year.”

Woods previously canceled his participation in the Wells Fargo Championship and withdrew after nine holes in the first round at The Players Championship after re-injuring his leg on the opening tee short.

“It’s been a frustrating and difficult year, but I’m committed to my long-term health,” Woods said. “I want to thank the fans for their encouragement and support. I am truly grateful and will be back playing when I can.”

In 2008, Wood competed at the U.S. Open despite having a ruptured ACL and a double stress fracture of the left tibia. Doctors then told him, however, that playing in the tournament would not make his leg worse.

Woods has won a total of 14 Major Championships since 1997. Four of those wins were at the Masters Tournament, three at the U.S. Open, three at The Open Championship, and four others were at the PGA Championship. His last major win was during the 2008 U.S. Open.

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BETHESA, MARYLAND (BNO NEWS) — Hackers targeted Lockheed Martin Corp., a major U.S. defense contractor which holds highly sensitive information, in a ‘significant and tenacious’ attack earlier this month, the company said on Sunday.

Both the U.S. government and Lockheed Martin confirmed the attack on early Sunday morning after several media reports emerged about the attack. Few details were released, but the company said its data remained secure.

Lockheed Martin said the ‘significant and tenacious’ attack on its information systems network was detected on May 21. “The company’s information security team detected the attack almost immediately, and took aggressive actions to protect all systems and data,” Lockheed Martin said in a statement.

The company said that, as a result of ‘swift and deliberate’ actions taken to protect the network and increase IT security, its systems remained secure. “No customer, program or employee personal data has been compromised,” a statement said.

“Throughout the ongoing investigation, Lockheed Martin has continued to keep the appropriate U.S. government agencies informed of our actions. The team continues to work around the clock to restore employee access to the network, while maintaining the highest level of security,” the statement added.

Chris Ortman, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said it was aware of the cyber attack. “Together with the Department of Defense, [DHS] has been in contact with the company to offer assistance in determining the extent of the incident, performing analysis of available data in order to provide recommendations to mitigate further risk,” he said.

A DHS source said the agency’s cyber response teams can perform a preliminary diagnosis of the compromise. “At the company’s request, DHS can deploy a team to meet with the affected organization to perform analysis of the infected systems, develop mitigation strategies, advise asset owners and operators on their efforts to restore service, and provide recommendations for improving overall network security,” the official said.

Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. It is the Pentagon’s No. 1 supplier by sales.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Wednesday launched an investigation after an aircraft carrying First Lady Michelle Obama was forced to abort a landing attempt on Monday.

The incident happened at around 5 p.m. Eastern time on Monday when the military version of a Boeing 737 carrying Michelle Obama was preparing to land on Runway 19 at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, about 8 miles (13 kilometers) east of Washington, D.C.

“The [plane] that Mrs. Obama was traveling in was directed to abort its landing attempt after the required minimum separation between it and a C-17 military aircraft that was landing ahead of it was compromised,” the NTSB said in a statement.

The NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are now investigating whether a mistake of an air traffic controller led to the incident, which in itself was relatively minor and both aircraft landed without incident. “The aircraft were never in any danger,” the FAA said.

The incident comes amid a series of embarrassing incidents in which FAA air traffic controllers fell asleep while on duty, and most recently an air traffic controller who was watching a movie instead of monitoring air traffic.

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NEW HAVEN (BNO NEWS) — Aaron Thomas, the man identified as the “East Coast Rapist”, attempted to hang himself in his New Haven, Connecticut, jail cell Saturday afternoon, police said.

Thomas, suspected of raping 17 women over a decade in four different states, was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. He was released and back in jail on Sunday, the New Haven Register reported.

The former truck driver is scheduled to be arraigned in court Monday on charges related to two of the 12 attacks he allegedly committed as he terrorized women in four states during the past 13 years. Thomas, 39, was charged with sexual assault in the first degree, burglary in the first degree and risk of injury to a minor and was being held on $1 million. He was also charged as a fugitive from justice in Prince William County, Virginia, with charges of rape, abduction and the use of a firearm in a felony.

Police said Saturday that DNA from a man arrested in Connecticut on Friday confirmed that he is the “East Coast Rapist”. Earlier this week, the FBI launched a digital billboard campaign in Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland and Rhode Island with a sketch of the perpetrator to solicit information from the public. Police have said the East Coast Rapist watched his victims, and used a gun, a knife, a broken bottle or a screwdriver in the attacks. All the attacks took place near major highways.

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HANOVER, MARYLAND (BNO NEWS) — Two people were slightly injured on Thursday and several others were evaluated after two packages at two Maryland state buildings erupted in a brief flash of fire, smoke, and emitting a smell.

The first incident happened at around 12.25 p.m. local time at the Jeffrey Building in downtown Annapolis while the second incident happened at around 12.45 p.m. local time at the Maryland Department of Transportation Headquarters in Hanover.

Phill McGowan, a spokesman for Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen, said city fire crews responded to the mailroom of the Jeffrey Building in the noon hour after an incendiary device in a book-size envelope injured a male employee. The envelope was addressed to Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, but could not have seriously injured anyone.

A similar incident happened at the Maryland Department of Transportation Headquarters where several people were evaluated by medics as a precaution. Officials believe the incidents are linked and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is taking part in the investigation.

“The Mayor has notified city employees not to open packages until further notice,” McGowan said, adding that bomb-sniffing dogs would inspect any packages. He added that Annapolis Chief of Police Michael Pristoop had also taken precautionary security measures to protect City Hall, although no terrorism-links were suspected.

According to NBC News, one of the parcels which was addressed to O’Malley complained about highway signs which urge motorists to report suspicious activity to authorities. “Somebody doesn’t like seeing that sign,” the Governor said.

Last month, a series of packages exploded at embassies in the Italian capital of Rome. Several people were injured, but the attacks were reportedly carried out by an Italian anarchist group, the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI). They are not related to the attacks in Maryland.

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