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For years, there’s been a cardinal rule for flying civilian drones: Keep them within your line of sight. But that's starting to change as aviation authorities prepare to cautiously relax some of the safeguards they imposed to regulate a boom in off-the-shelf consumer drones. Drones can now soar out of their pilots’ sight to inspect power lines across the forested Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia. They’re tracking endangered sea turtles off Florida’s coast and monitoring seaports and railroads in the U.S. and Europe. Businesses want smoother rules that could open your neighborhood’s skies to new commercial uses, but privacy advocates and some private pilots have concerns.
Hundreds of homes have been inundated in and around Australia's largest city in a flood emergency that was causing trouble for 50,000 people. Officials said Tuesday emergency response teams made 100 rescues overnight of people trapped in cars on flooded roads or in inundated homes. New South Wales state Premier Dominic Perrottet said 50,000 people in and around Sydney were given evacuation orders and warnings to prepare to abandon homes. That's up from 32,000 on Monday. Days of torrential rain have caused dams to overflow and waterways to break their banks, bringing a fourth flood emergency in 16 months to parts of the city of 5 million people.
Rescue teams searching for missing crew members from a Chinese engineering ship that sank during a weekend storm have saved a fourth person and recovered 12 bodies. Chinese officials say the crew member rescued on Monday is in stable condition. Three other members of the 30-person crew were rescued on Saturday. Officials are attempting to identify the 12 recovered bodies. The vessel, a floating crane, was hit by the tropical storm on Saturday and snapped in two before sinking.
More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surrounds have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes as Australia’s largest city faces more severe flooding. Days of torrential rain have caused dams to overflow and waterways to break their banks. The excess water means parts of the city of 5 million people are facing a fourth flooding emergency in 16 months. Emergency officials said Monday the current flooding is likely to be worse than the others and affect areas spared in the earlier floods. Some places received 3 feet of rain in the past 24 hours. Rain is forecast all week.
Rescue services in Hong Kong say an industrial support ship operating in the South China Sea has sunk with the possible loss of more than two dozen crew members. The accident occurred Saturday about 186 miles south of Hong Kong. Authorities dispatched planes and helicopters to aid in the rescue with at least three people from the crew of 30 brought to safety. The Hong Kong Flying Service did not give the name or origin of the vessel but said in a statement that crew members were negotiating difficulties brought on by Severe Tropical Storm Chaba, which was packing maximum winds of 68 miles per hour. The storm made landfall in the western part of the coastal province of Guangdong later Saturday.
Three people were killed and dozens others were injured Monday when an Amtrak passenger train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago struck a dump truck and derailed in a remote, rural area of Missouri. A Missouri State Highway Patrol spokesman says two of the people who died were on the train and one was in the truck. It was not immediately clear exactly how many people were hurt, the patrol said, but hospitals reported receiving more than 40 patients from the crash and were expecting more. Officials say Amtrak's Southwest Chief was carrying about 207 passengers and crew members when the collision happened near Mendon at a rural intersection on a gravel road with no lights or electronic controls. The Highway Patrol said seven cars derailed.