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Air Canada Plane Skids Off Hailfax Runway; 23 Injured

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (HALIFAX, Nova Scotia) -- Twenty-three passengers and crew members on board an A320 Air Canada flight were hospitalized Sunday when the plane experienced a hard landing at the Halifax international airport.

The plane, incoming from Toronto, skidded off the runway upon landing early Sunday local time, said Halifax Stanfield International Airport spokesman Peter Spurway. He said the pilots were in control of the plane up until the hard landing.

All but one of the injured passengers had been released from the hospital as of Sunday afternoon, according to Air Canada.

The cause has not been determined, an Air Canada spokesman said Sunday afternoon. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating.

Spurway said there was snow on the runway but it hadn't yet been determined whether that was a factor in the hard landing. The airport also suffered a power interruption around the same time of the incident, but it was unclear whether the two events were related.

"It was safe to land in this weather," an An Air Canada spokesman said.

The pilots are 15-year veterans of Air Canada, the airline spokesman added, with "many years" of experience flying the A320.

He said that the plane was checked Saturday, which was its most recent scheduled maintenance check.

The airport was closed to all air traffic for several hours after the crash before reopening.


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Cities Around The World Mark Earth Hour

Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Lights switched off across the world on Saturday as major cities marked World Earth Hour.

Places such as Berlin, Rome, Amman, Jordan, and New York City’s Empire State Building pulled the plug at 8:30 p.m. local time.

“This is not exclusive for the developed countries, or the developing countries so it’s affecting all,” said climate change researchers Hussein Al-Kiswani in Amman, Jordan.

Organizers estimate that more than 7,000 events were held around the globe.

“The event is resembling the fact that we are united together all over the world to fight this phenomenon,” said Al-Kiswani.

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Germanwings Crash Co-Pilot Seemed Like a 'Normal Guy,' Fellow Pilot Says

Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images(DÜSSELDORF, Germany) -- A German pilot who recently flew with the co-pilot accused by French prosecutors of deliberately crashing a Germanwings plane said he seemed like a "normal guy," and he "had plans for the future."

French prosecutors have said co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately slammed the passenger plane into a mountain on Tuesday. Authorities have since said he hid evidence of an illness from his employers, including a sick note that was found torn up inside his apartment in Dusseldorf dated from the day of the crash.

Frank Woiton, a Germanwings pilot, told German TV station WDR that he saw nothing unusual about Lubitz when he flew with him less than a month ago.

"The impression that I got was that he was a normal guy," Woiton said. "He had plans for the future. He wanted to fly long distance flights for Lufthansa."

German State Prosecutor Christoph Kumpa said on Friday that "a torn-up current sick note ... valid for the day of the incident" had been found inside Lubitz's apartment in Dusseldorf, adding that it "would -- according to preliminary evaluation -- support the assumption that the [pilot] had concealed his illness towards his employer and his occupational environment."

Kumpa said the note found indicated Lubitz, 27, "was declared by a medical doctor unfit to work."

The disclosure of torn medical documents at the co-pilot's home came shortly before Germanwings' parent company, Lufthansa, announced that it would be changing company policy to require two "authorized persons" remain in the cockpit at all times during the flight, in light of the finding that Lubitz apparently stopped the captain from re-entering the cockpit and forced the plane to crash.

In addition to the findings suggesting Lubitz was hiding an illness, a search of his apartment in Dusseldorf yielded no suicide note and the city's prosecutor announced that there was no evidence that political or religious factors were involved in the crash.

The New York Times reported that Lubitz sought treatment for vision problems that may have put his future as a pilot at risk, two officials with knowledge of the investigation told the newspaper.

It's unclear how severe the eye problems were but one official with knowledge of the investigation hadn't ruled out that it was caused or enhanced by psychological factors, the Times reported.

ABC News was unable to independently confirm the report.

Dusseldorf University Hospital said Lubitz was a patient there and his last visit was two weeks before the crash. The hospital denied that the treatment was related to depression, but they have handed over all of his medical records to German investigators.

During a news conference on Thursday, the Lufthansa CEO said that Lubitz had undergone a medical examination that included a psychological evaluation before being hired in 2013 but, unlike physicals, mental evaluations are not required annually.

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Amanda Knox 'Grateful' Conviction Overturned

ABC News(SEATTLE) -- After Italy's highest court decided to overturn Amanda Knox's reconviction in connection with her roommate's slaying, Knox said late Friday she was still processing the court's decision.

"I just wanted to say that I am incredibly grateful for what has happened, for the justice I've received, for the support that I've had from everyone," Knox told reporters. "What comes to mind is my gratitude for that life that has been given to me."

Knox, 27, was initially convicted by an Italian court of killing British student Meredith Kercher in 2007, but that decision was overturned on appeal in October 2011 after she had spent four years in prison.

She was then reconvicted last year and an appeal of the reconviction began this month. There is no possibility of any further appeals after Friday’s ruling.

"Meredith was my friend and she deserved so much in this life," Knox told reporters.

Knox has rebuilt her life in her hometown of Seattle, writing freelance theater reviews for a local paper and working at a bookstore. In February, her family said that she was engaged to Colin Sutherland, a friend whom she has known since middle school.

Her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito faced the same appeal and was also annulled. While he has been present in the Rome court throughout the week, Knox has remained in America.

"I will never go willingly back," she told ABC News in January 2014.


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6.0-Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Northern Chile

Tomislav Zivkovic/iStock/Thinkstock(SANTIAGO, Chile) – Parts of Northern Chile were rocked by a 6.0-magnitude earthquake on Saturday.

The quake struck 25 miles northeast of Calama at 12:35 p.m. local time, near Chile’s border with Bolivia, according to the United States Geological Survey. It had a depth of just over 65 miles.

So far, there have been reports of injuries or damage as a result of the quake.

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British Police Taser Knife-wielding Robber in Harrowing Surveillance Video

Wiltshire Police(WILTSHIRE, England) -- Harrowing surveillance video shows police tasering a knife-wielding man as he tried to rob a British supermarket.

Wiltshire Police released the video Friday, the same day they said James Lewis was sentenced to three years in prison. Police said he pleaded guilty to attempted armed robbery on Tuesday.

In the video from Feb. 1, a man identified by police as Lewis enters the supermarket wielding a large knife. He quickly heads toward the cashier and tries grabbing him.

The cashier manages to avoid his grasp and runs away when he jumps over the counter.

Officers arrive at the same time as Lewis, 22, because his father had called them saying he was concerned about his son, police said.

Lewis turns his knife on the officers trying to apprehend him, the video shows. One of the officers uses a shopping basket as a shield.

An officer then enters the supermarket and tasers Lewis, who falls to the floor, drops the knife, and grabs his head in agony. Police said he had refused to drop the knife when told to do so.

"Wiltshire police are very proud of all our officers, doing their part to protect the public," read a statement from police.


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Deadly Hotel Siege Ends in Somalia

alexis84/iStock/Thinkstock(MOGADISHU, Somalia) -- A deadly attack at a hotel in Somali’s capital has ended after 12 hours.

Government officials said on Saturday they have taken back control of the hotel where gunman were held up for more than 12 hours in an attack that left at least 17 people dead.

The government had occupied the third and fourth floors of the hotel.

The terror group Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Amanda Knox's Conviction Overturned by Italy's Highest Court

ABC(ROME) -- Italy's highest court decided Friday to overturn Amanda Knox's reconviction in connection with her roommate's slaying, meaning that she will not be sent back to prison.

Knox's mother confirmed to ABC News that her daughter's conviction has been annulled.

Knox was initially convicted by an Italian court of killing British student Meredith Kercher in 2007, but that decision was overturned on appeal in October 2011 after she had spent four years in prison.

She was then reconvicted last year and an appeal of the reconviction began this month. There is no possibility of further appeals after Friday’s ruling.

Knox said in a statement that she is "tremendously relieved and grateful for the deicison of the Supreme Court of Italy."

"The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal," Knox says. Her family also released a statement saying they were "thrilled with" and "grateful for" Friday's decision.

"This is a big mistake that has to be rectified," Knox's defense attorney Carlo Dalla Vedova told ABC News before this latest appeal case began. "It has been done before."

Knox has previously told ABC News that while she maintains her innocence, she will not be traveling to Italy for the new appeal because if found guilty, she would then be sent back to jail for up to 28 years.

"I did not expect this to happen," Knox told ABC News in January 2014. "I really expected so much better from the Italian justice system. They found me innocent once before."

Knox has rebuilt her life in her hometown of Seattle, writing freelance theater reviews for a local paper and working at a bookstore. In February, her family confirmed that she is now engaged to Colin Sutherland, a friend whom she has known since middle school.

Her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito is facing the same appeal and while he has been present in the Rome court throughout the week, Knox has remained in America.

"I will never go willingly back," she said in January 2014.

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Germanwings Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz Never Submitted Sick Note, Airline Says

Getty Images(DÜSSELDORF, Germany) -- The airline whose plane crashed in the French Alps never received the sick note that investigators found torn up in the apartment of the co-pilot who allegedly hid an illness from his employers before allegedly causing the fatal crash, it was revealed Friday.

Germanwings said in a statement Friday that they never received a sick note for co-pilot Andreas Lubitz that the senior prosecutor in Dusseldorf announced they had found torn up in his apartment.

Prosecutor Christoph Kumpa had said earlier in the day that "a torn-up current sick note ... valid for the day of the incident" had been found, adding that it "would -- according to preliminary evaluation -- support the assumption that the [pilot] had concealed his illness towards his employer and his occupational environment."

Kumpa said the note found indicated the pilot deemed unwell by a medical doctor.

The disclosure of torn medical documents at the co-pilot's home came shortly before Germanwings' parent company, Lufthansa, announced that it would be changing company policy to require two "authorized persons" remain in the cockpit at all times during the flight, in light of the finding that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz apparently stopped the captain from re-entering the cockpit and forced the plane to crash.

In addition to the findings suggesting Lubitz was hiding an illness, a search of his apartment in Dusseldorf yielded no suicide note and the city's prosecutor announced that there is no evidence that political or religious factors were involved in the crash.

The Wall Street Journal cited a friend of Lubitz who said that he suffered from depression and was worried that his employer would find out about his diagnosis. ABC News has not independently confirmed this account.

Dusseldorf University Hospital confirmed Lubitz was a patient there and his last visit was two weeks before the crash. They denied that the treatment was related to depression, but they have handed over all of his medical records to German investigators.

During a news conference on Thursday, the Lufthansa CEO said that the 27-year-old co-pilot had undergone a medical examination that included a psychological evaluation before being hired in 2013 but, unlike physicals, mental evaluations are not required annually.

The Germanwings plane crashed this past Tuesday in the Alps in southern France with 150 people on board, including two babies, the airline said. French President Francois Hollande said there were "apparently no survivors."

Brice Robin, public prosecutor of Marseille, France, said in a news conference Thursday that Lubitz appeared to want to "destroy the plane," purposefully locking the captain out of the Airbus A320's cockpit and accelerating the descent manually.

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US Helicopter Recovers Pair of Saudi Pilots After Fighter Jet Crash

Stocktrek Images/Thinkstock(DJIBOUTI) -- A U.S. helicopter recovered a pair of Saudi pilots whose fighter jet had crashed in the Gulf of Aden on Friday.

A U.S. official confirmed that the Saudi plane, a F-15, had gone down due to mechanical issues while participating in Saudi airstrikes within Yemen. A U.S. Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter based in nearby Djibouti was set to rescue the pilots, who had ejected into the water.

The U.S. is not taking part in the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen, but is providing logistical and intelligence support.

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US Embassy in Iraq Denies Reports of Coalition Airstrike Mistakenly Hitting Iraqi Troops

Marcio Silva/iStock/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- The U.S. embassy in Iraq on Friday denied Iraqi media reports that a coalition airstrike mistakenly struck Iraqi troops in Tikrit.

"We are aware of Iraqi media reports of casualties among Iraqi Security Forces in the vicinity of Tikrit University this morning," the embassy's statement reads. "No coalition airstrikes took place during the time or in the vicinity of these alleged casualties."

The embassy referred further questions to the Iraqi Ministry of Defense.

U.S. and coalition forces had begun to conduct airstrikes and offer additional support in the vicinity of Tikrit as Iraqi Security Forces attempt to retake the city from ISIS militants.

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European Aviation Regulator, Lufthansa Look into Two-Person Rule for Cockpits

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In the wake of the Germanwings plane crash earlier this week, both the European Aviation Safety Agency and Lufthansa are looking into mandating two people be in a plane's cockpit at all times.

The Germanwings plane crashed Tuesday in the Alps in southern France with 150 people on board, including two babies, the airline said. French President Francois Hollande said there were "apparently no survivors."

Brice Robin, public prosecutor of Marseille, France, said in a news conference Thursday that Lubitz appeared to want to "destroy the plane," purposefully locking the captain out of the Airbus A320's cockpit and accelerating the descent manually.

The EASA said in a press release Friday that it would make a temporary recommendation for airlines to ensure that two crew members -- including at least one qualified pilot -- are in the cockpit at all times.

In the Germanwings crash, one pilot had reportedly left the cockpit to use the restroom, and Lubitz was left alone.

EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky said that "while we are still mourning the victims, all our efforts focus on improving the safety and security of passengers and crews."

While the EASA makes that recommendation, individual states will still have to require their airlines to follow the two-person protocol.

German airliner group Lufthansa released a statement on Friday saying that its group member airlines would adopt the "rule of two." The move is termed a "precautionary measure."

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Germanwings Co-Pilot May Have Had Hidden Illness; No Suicide Note Found

Adam Berry/Getty Images(DÜSSELDORF, Germany) — There are indications that the co-pilot of the Germanwings aircraft that crashed into the French Alps Tuesday hid an illness from his employers, German prosecutors said in a statement Friday morning.

The disclosure of torn medical documents at the co-pilot's home came shortly before Germanwings' parent company, Lufthansa, announced that it would be changing company policy to require two "authorized persons" remain in the cockpit at all times during the flight, in light of the finding that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz apparently stopped the captain from re-entering the cockpit and forced the plane to crash.

Dusseldorf prosecutor Christoph Kumpa said on Friday that a letter found in a wastebasket in Lubitz' apartment indicated that a doctor had declared him unwell.

In addition to the findings suggesting Lubitz was hiding an illness, a search of his apartment in Dusseldorf yielded no suicide note and the city's prosecutor announced that there is no evidence that political or religious factors were involved in the crash.

During a press conference Thursday, the Lufthansa CEO said that the 27-year-old co-pilot had undergone a medical examination that included a psychological evaluation before being hired in 2013 but, unlike physicals, mental evaluations are not required annually.

The Germanwings plane crashed Tuesday in the Alps in southern France with 150 people on board, including two babies, the airline said. French President Francois Hollande said there were "apparently no survivors."

Brice Robin, public prosecutor of Marseille, France, said in a news conference Thursday that Lubitz appeared to want to "destroy the plane," purposefully locking the captain out of the Airbus A320's cockpit and accelerating the descent manually.


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Duchess Kate Middleton Makes Last Public Appearance Before Maternity Leave

Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Duchess Kate Middleton stepped out in a hot pink coat Friday at what could be her final public appearance before she gives birth to her second child, which is due next month.

The duchess, 33, was joined by her husband, Prince William, 32, at three engagements to support opportunities for young people in South London.

While touring the Stephen Lawrence Centre, a community and social research center, William reportedly told well-wishers it would be "not long now" before the birth of the couple’s second child, reports the U.K.’s The Telegraph.

The Telegraph also reported that the Duke of Cambridge, as William is formally known, described becoming a father a second time as a “game-changer” and said he could not wait for the birth.

"William said he couldn't wait for the baby to be born - he said he wanted it now, he couldn't wait another minute,” bystander Parl Reardon recounted to The Telegraph.

Kate is due in April but neither her exact due date nor the sex of the baby are publicly known.

The couple’s first child, son Prince George, will turn 2-years-old in August.

William and Kate on Friday also visited Christ Church in Gipsy Hill where they watched a performance by young people from XLP Arts Project, a charity for kids from inner London boroughs.

The royals also visited an XLP community bus and mobile recording studio that was converted from an old police riot van through MTV's Pimp My Ride TV show.

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People Flock to See Jesus' Face on Hillside in Colombia

iStock/Thinkstock(BOGOTA, Colombia) -- Many say you can see the face of Jesus in nature, but locals in a small town in Colombia are claiming that literally.

Both the faithful and opportunistic are flocking to see what they claim is an image of Jesus' face in a hillside in the town of San Francisco in the Colombian province of Putumayo, according to the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.

The site is in southern Colombia, close to the border with Ecuador.

The formation was discovered after a small landslide in the ravine.

"If you believe in Jesus you will see your image," Ximena Rosero Arango, a visitor to the site, told El Tiempo, according to a translation by Discovery.com.

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