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    Apr. 16, 2011 - Futaba, Japan - A street lies buckled and broken by the Mar. 11 earthquake in Futaba-machi, a town less than two miles from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The Japanese government has expanded evacuation areas and urged people living in two villages to move out in
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FEATURE of the Day
Mailman Flys To Capitol In Gyrocopter Sends Campaign Reform Message
    WASHINGTON, D.C. - DOUG HUGHES, the 61-year-old mailman from Ruskin, Florida, successfully landed his gyrocopter on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol today.

He was promptly arrested.

Witnesses said the sirens and cars came immediately after Hughes touched down. They said he was composed, calm and surrendered immediately.

Shortly before 2 p.m., police officials were inspecting his gyrocopter with dogs. Investigators moved witnesses a block away from the Capitol.

''We heard him coming. There are a lot of helicopters in D.C. but I could tell this one was smaller,'' said Gil Wheeler, 53, a pilot from Las Vegas. ''It came right down the middle of the lawn. You can tell he knows how to fly that thing.''

Wheeler added that Hughes' protest move, urging campaign finance reform and a halt to corruption in the government, raises questions about our country's national security apparatus.

''This is just another question for Homeland Security,'' Hughes said. ''We still have a lot of questions to ask.''

Richard Burns, 27, who said he works for a marijuana lobby group in Washington, stood in wonder and solidarity.

''I don't know whatever it was he was doing but I support him.'' The Capitol was briefly placed on lockdown during Hughes' landing.

ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - Ruskin mailman DOUG HUGHES is not a terrorist and did not mean any harm with his protest, said close friend and co-worker Mike Shanahan.

''He's not a suicide bomber, he's a patriot,'' said Shanahan, 65, of Apollo Beach. The whole stunt centers around Hughes' effort to change campaign finance laws, ''or the lack thereof,'' according to Shanahan.

About a year ago, Shanahan said, Hughes told him of the idea to deliver letters to legislators by gyrocopter. Not long after, they were both questioned by a Secret Service official in Florida, he said. Wednesday morning, Shanahan said, Hughes called his friend and said he was in Washington, ready to take off.

Just hours before Hughes landed in Washington, Hughes' friend said he called a Secret Service agent to notify him of the possibility of the gyrocopter flight. No answer, but he said he left a message. No call back. He still was not certain if the protest was actually going to happen...''I didn't want to get all of D.C. in an uproar and it turn out he was just practicing or something or he was just pulling my leg,'' Shanahan said.

Though Hughes was arrested, Shanahan said he was relieved his friend was alive.

''I was scared to death they were going to kill him,'' Shanahan said. ''My thanks goes out to whomever it was who decided not to pull the trigger.''

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