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In our news wrap Wednesday, seven marines and four national guard crewmen were presumed dead after a military helicopter crashed during a night training mission in Florida. Also, the police chief of Ferguson, Missouri, resigned in the wake of mounting pressure to step down after a scathing federal report on that city’s law enforcement.
A military investigation began today after a fatal helicopter crash during a night training mission along the Florida Gulf Coast. Seven U.S. Marines from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and four Louisiana National Guard crewmen were presumed dead. Their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter went down in heavy fog, close to Eglin Air Force Base, between Pensacola and Destin.
The Louisiana Guard commander said today it's unclear if the fog was a factor.
MAJ. GEN. GLENN CURTIS, Louisiana National Guard:
They are very cognizant of weather conditions before they depart on a mission. But you, know, you can depart from one station and hit weather that you didn't expect. And so the conditions have to be right for them to take off. Now, what they run into while they're airborne is a different story.
The fog hampered search efforts, but teams found some human remains and debris, as they fanned out along a remote beach on the Florida Panhandle.
The police chief of Ferguson, Missouri, resigned today, in the latest fallout from a scathing federal report. Tom Jackson had been under pressure since a white officer killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, last August. The officer was cleared, but the Justice Department found systemic racial bias in the city's police and courts. Jackson is the sixth local official to resign or be fired since the report came out.
The Associated Press went to federal court today, to force the State Department to release Hillary Clinton's e-mails. In a statement, the news organization said: "The Documents will shed light on actions by the State Department and former Secretary Clinton during some of the most significant issues of our time."
Clinton used a private account exclusively as secretary. She pledged yesterday that all of her work-related e-mails will be made public.
The secretary of state lashed out today at Senate Republicans who sent a letter to Iran warning against a possible nuclear deal. John Kerry has been leading the negotiations. But he told a Senate hearing that the letter, signed by 47 Republicans, undermines American foreign policy.
JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: My reaction to the letter was utter disbelief. During my 29 years here in the Senate, I never heard of, nor even heard of it being proposed, anything comparable to this.
Kerry also challenged the letter's claim that any deal must have congressional approval, or it could expire the day President Obama leaves office.
Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, chairing the hearing, answered with his own criticism.
SEN. BOB CORKER, (R) Tennessee: I will say that I didn't sign the letter. I'm very disappointed, though, that you have gone back on your statement that any agreement must pass a muster with Congress. The way we pass muster here is, we vote.
Kerry meets Iran's foreign minister next week for further talks, ahead of a deadline at the end of March.
Fifteen gunmen in France made off with millions of dollars in precious jewels overnight southeast of Paris. Investigators combed the Burgundy countryside, where the gang ambushed and then burned two transport vans. The drivers were forced from the vehicles and left unharmed. It's the latest in a string of major jewel robberies in France.
In economic news, the European Central Bank chief said today the Eurozone's recovery is gaining momentum, and that a slowdown in growth has reversed.
And, on Wall Street, stocks gave a little more ground. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 27 points, but managed to stay above 17600. The Nasdaq fell about 10 points, and the S&P 500 slipped four.
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