News in brief for Feb. 12

Helicopter crash ‘horrible’; 4 rescued, 3 dead

PHOENIX (AP) — Four survivors of a deadly tour helicopter crash onto the jagged rocks of the Grand Canyon were being treated at a Nevada hospital on Sunday while crews tackled difficult terrain in a very remote area to try to recover the bodies of three other people.

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Six passengers and a pilot were on board the Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters chopper when it crashed under unknown circumstances on Saturday evening on the Hualapai Nation’s land near Quartermaster Canyon, by the Grand Canyon’s West Rim. A witness said he saw flames and black smoke spewing from the crash site, heard explosions and saw victims who were bleeding and badly burned.

“It’s just horrible,” witness Teddy Fujimoto said. “And those victims — she was so badly burned. It’s unimaginable, the pain.”

Windy conditions, darkness, the remoteness of the area and the rugged terrain made it difficult to reach the helicopter’s wreckage, Hualapai Nation police Chief Francis Bradley said. Rescue crews had to be flown in, walk to the crash site and use night vision goggles to find their way around, he said.

The survivors were airlifted to a Las Vegas hospital by around 2 a.m. Sunday, Bradley said. The identities and nationalities of the dead and injured weren’t immediately released.

New York attorney general files lawsuit against Weinstein

NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit against Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein Co. following an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.

In court papers filed in Manhattan on Sunday, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the Weinstein Co. “repeatedly broke New York law by failing to protect its employees from pervasive sexual harassment, intimidation and discrimination.”

Schneiderman says any sale of the company “must ensure that victims will be compensated” and that employees will be protected.

Schneiderman launched a civil rights probe into the New York City-based company in October after The New York Times and The New Yorker exposed allegations of sexual assault and harassment spanning decades. The company later fired Weinstein.

Telephone and email messages seeking comment from Weinstein were not immediately returned.

Kim’s sister ends Olympic visit, leaving South to mull offer

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister headed home Sunday night after a whirlwind three days in South Korea, where she sat among world dignitaries at the Olympics and tossed a diplomatic offer to the South aimed at ending seven decades of hostility.

Kim Yo Jong and the rest of the North Korean delegation departed for Pyongyang on her brother’s private jet, a day after they delivered his hopes for a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in during a lunch at Seoul’s presidential palace. It was a sharp, but possibly fleeting, contrast with many months of rising tensions connected to the North’s continued development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

They capped their final day in South Korea by joining Moon at a Seoul concert given by a visiting North Korean art troupe led by the head of the immensely popular Moranbong band, whose young female members are hand-picked by Kim Jong Un.

Accepting North Korea’s demand to transport more than 100 members of the art troupe by sea, South Korea treated the Mangyongbong-92 ferry as an exemption to the maritime sanctions it imposed on the North, a controversial move amid concerns that the North is trying to use the Olympics to poke holes in international sanctions.

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon hosted the North Koreans for lunch Sunday before Moon’s chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, hosted them for dinner ahead of the concert.

White House grappling with fallout from aide’s resignation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Reeling from the downfall of a senior aide, the White House was on the defensive Sunday, attempting to soften President Donald Trump’s comments about the mistreatment of women while rallying around the embattled chief of staff.

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Several senior aides fanned out on the morning talk shows to explain how the White House handled the departure of staff secretary Rob Porter, a rising West Wing star who exited after two ex-wives came forward with allegations of spousal abuse. And they tried to clarify the reaction from Trump, who has yet to offer a sympathetic word to the women who said they had been abused.

“The president believes, as he said the other day, you have to consider all sides,” said senior counselor Kellyanne Conway. “He has said this in the past about incidents that relate to him as well. At the same time, you have to look at the results. The result is that Rob Porter is no longer the staff secretary.”