By David Alexander EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE Fla. (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told military fliers on Thursday the stealthy F-35 attack plane had "issues" but was still "the future for our fighter aircraft" despite a fire that grounded the fleet and jeopardized its international debut in Britain. In a visit to the Florida base where the blaze occurred in late June, Hagel spoke with F-35 pilots and maintenance workers about the Lockheed Martin aircraft but was not able to say whether the planes would be cleared to resume flight in time to participate in air shows in Britain. Key F-35 contractors are Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corp and BAE Systems Plc. Hagel, speaking in front of a pair of the F-35s, said the pilots and maintainers voiced "tremendous confidence" in the so-called fifth-generation aircraft, which has stealthy radar-evading technology and a suite of integrated sensors that digest and feed information to the pilot through a special helmet. "Some of the pilots told me it was the best aircraft that they had ever flown and some said it was the easiest and simplest aircraft they'd ever flown," Hagel said. "I was particularly happy to hear that because I believe this aircraft is the future for our fighter aircraft for our services," he said.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A trial that could determine the fate of the Los Angeles Clippers has been put on hold until after a deadline to conclude a $2 billion sale — but that expiration date could be extended.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police in Portland, Oregon, say they have arrested a 29-year-old man accused of running up to a police horse, uttering a "karate-like battle cry" and delivering what a spokesman calls "a jumping, double kick" to the horse's right thigh.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming man who paid $1 million to sponsor a search for Amelia Earhart's missing airplane is asking a federal judge not to dismiss his fraud lawsuit against expedition organizers.
ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Zoo said Thursday that it was caring for 30 animals, including lemurs and other exotic species, which were rescued from "deplorable" conditions inside the garage of a suburban Detroit home.
NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday signed into law a plan to offer identification cards to residents regardless of their immigration statuses, providing a valuable document to access certain services for those who struggled to get them.
Supporters of a former U.S. Marine held for more than three months in a Mexican jail on weapons charges said on Thursday they were encouraged by his first court appearance and were hopeful he would be home soon. Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, was arrested on March 31 by Mexican customs agents who found guns in his pickup truck at the San Ysidro border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana. His first appearance was a closed-door session that lasted more than seven hours in Tijuana on Wednesday. Serving California, a faith-based non-profit group that supports Tahmooressi and his mother, said the hearing represented a vital step in clearing his name.