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Thursday, Nov 27th

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Virgin Galactic was warned about potential instability of new fuel, experts say

Virgi Galactic warnedFifteen federal US investigators have begun combing over the fatal crash site of the Virgin Galactic space plane in California’s Mojave desert, as questions surfaced about the unconventional fuel propulsion system used to blast the craft up to space.

SpaceShipTwo (SS2), the plane on which the Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has pinned his hopes of sending commercial passengers to the edge of space at a cost of $250,000 (£156,000) each, broke up during a test flight at about 45,000ft on Friday. The pilot, Peter Siebold 43, managed to parachute to the ground and was described as alert though with serious injuries; the co-pilot, Michael Alsbury, 39, was killed.

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Homeland Security credit cards used to spend $30K at Starbucks

StarbucksEmployees with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security spent some $30,000 on food and items at Starbucks in 2013 using government-issued credit cards, an investigative report revealed.

The agency spent $12,000 of that money at one Starbucks alone located in Alameda, Calif., the documents, which were acquired through the Freedom of Information Act by NBC Washington, revealed.

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Probe of FBI agent leads to release of convicted drug dealers from prison

Drug dealers freed in FBI probeAn investigation into possible misconduct by an FBI agent has forced authorities to quietly release at least a dozen convicts serving prison sentences for distributing drugs in the District and its suburbs, according to law enforcement officials, court documents and defense attorneys.

In addition, several suspects awaiting trial on drug charges and a man convicted but not yet sentenced have also been freed. Officials said more cases­ that could involve the agent are under scrutiny, including one involving 21 defendants.

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Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Crashes During Flight Test

Vrrgin GalacticVirgin Galactic said its SpaceShipTwo rocket plane suffered an "in-flight anomaly" during a powered test flight on Friday — and other sources said the anomaly involved a catastrophic explosion and crash.

Two pilots fly in SpaceShipTwo's cockpit during a test. Those pilots are equipped with parachutes, and after the anomaly, at least one chute was reportedly sighted over the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, the base from which SpaceShipTwo and its WhiteKnightTwo carrier plane took off.

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Reform school survivors allege abuse of their personal files too

Spring Creek LodgeAshley Astle left Spring Creek Lodge, a residential facility for troubled youths in Montana, over a decade ago. She has never been back. “I'm not sure how deeply you want me to go into my experience of the program, but I will give you the short version. Basically, it was terrible,” she said.

Last winter she started to hear disturbing rumors that reopened old wounds. Spring Creek Lodge closed in 2009 after a wrongful death suit after a student hanged herself, and the school sat derelict in a Montana forest. According to another alum who allegedly returned to the facility, the abandoned school was still filled with fragments of past students’ lives — journals, progress notes, letters and medical and mental health records.

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Pennsylvania 'survivalist' suspect captured after six weeks on the run

Eric FreinAuthorities in Pennsylvania say they have captured a man accused of killing one state trooper and seriously injuring another during a September ambush.

Police said on Thursday they had 31-year-old Eric Frein in custody after a six-week search in which they had found his diary, his gun and his campsites. NBC reported he had been captured in an airport hangar at the Pocono Mountain Airport.

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Plane crashes into building at Kansas Mid-Continent Airport

kansas airport accidentA small plane has crashed at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport, sending up huge plumes of black smoke that can be seen for miles around the city.

KSN has confirmed from the FAA that a twin engine Beechcraft King Air lost an engine on takeoff from Wichita’s Mid-Continent airport and crashed into the two-story FlightSafety International building located on South Airport Road. The plane was trying to return to the runway.

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