In brief | Nation & world | 010814


USAF helicopter crashes in England, killing all 4 crew members

LONDON — A U.S. Air Force Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in a coastal area of eastern England during a training mission on Tuesday night, killing all four crew members aboard, officials said.

Lt. Keenan Kunst at the Royal Air Force station in Lakenheath, Suffolk County, which hosts U.S. Air force units and personnel, said in a telephone interview that the helicopter went down in the coastal village of Cley, near the base. He said the aircraft was based there and on a training mission.

In Washington, a U.S. defense official said the accident killed the four U.S. Air Force crew members aboard. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the crash publicly.

Police in Norfolk County cordoned off the area where the crash occurred, and several vehicles from the fire brigade, coast guard and police are at the scene.

Pave Hawks are often used for combat search and rescue missions, mainly to recover downed air crew members or other personnel.

Lawmakers put finishing touches on $1.1 trillion spending bill

WASHINGTON — Funding for implementing the new health care law and other sticking points remain, but negotiators reported significant progress Tuesday on a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September.

“We are looking at narrowing the differences, looking at … how we can compromise without capitulation on both sides,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. Mikulski was cautiously optimistic of reaching agreement on the massive bill later this week in hopes of a vote next week.

“Our subcommittee chairmen have really done 90 percent of the work. We are now at 10 percent, but this last 10 percent, like in any negotiation, is the toughest,” Mikulski said. A top aide accompanying Mikulski back to her office told reporters that the budgets for the Pentagon and the Commerce, Justice, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs and Transportation departments are “virtually wrapped up.”

But the two sides remain at odds over funding to implement so-called Obamacare and a 2010 overhaul of financial regulations, and they’re still sorting through more than 130 policy items known as “riders” in Washington-speak, many of which are backed by conservatives seeking to derail Obama administration environmental and labor regulations.

Among the differences is giving the administration flexibility to certify that Egypt qualifies for U.S. military aid despite a law that bans such assistance after coups, said Sen. Lindsey Graham, the top Republican on the foreign aid panel.

JPMorgan Chase will pay more than $2.5B for failing to detect, report Madoff fraud

NEW YORK — JPMorgan Chase &Co., already beset by costly legal woes, will pay more than $2.5 billion for ignoring obvious warning signs of Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme, authorities said Tuesday.

The nation’s largest bank will forfeit a record $1.7 billion to settle criminal charges, plus pay an additional $543 million to settle civil claims by victims. It also will pay a $350 million civil penalty for what the Treasury Department called “critical and widespread deficiencies” in its programs to prevent money laundering and other suspicious activity.

The bank failed to carry out its legal obligations while Madoff “built his massive house of cards,” George Venizelos, head of the FBI’s New York office, said at a news conference.

Madoff banked at JPMorgan through what court papers referred to as the “703 account.” In 2008, the bank’s London desk circulated a memo describing JPMorgan’s inability to validate his trading activity or custody of assets and his “odd choice” of a one-man accounting firm, the government said.

By wire sources