One weekend, 2 air show plane crashes, at least 8 dead

Screenshot of a plane crash at Shoreham Airshow in West Sussex, England on Aug. 22, 2015.
Dan Tube

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Need to know:

The first victims have been named in yesterday's tragic crash of a single-seat jet at the Shoreham Airshow in West Sussex, England. 

Worthing United footballers Matthew Grimstone, 23, and Jacob Schilt were on their way to play in a match against Loxwood FC when they were caught up in the incident. BBC also identified Matt Jones, 24, as among the victims killed in the crash. Four more people — seven total — were killed, and the pilot, 51-year-old Andy Hill, sustained critical injuries. 

Hill had been attempting a second loop-the-loop at the airshow when his plane, a historic Hawker Hunter, went down. It crashed into several cars on the A27, a major road that runs past Shoreham Airport. Eyewitness Stephen Jones said, "He'd gone up into a loop and as he was coming out of the loop I just thought, you're too low, you're too low, pull up. And he flew straight into the ground."

The Telegraph is calling it the "worst British air show disaster in living memory." Onlookers saw two fireballs followed by thick columns of smoke billowing into the sky. Here is a video of the crash.

On Sunday, a second crash at an airshow shocked viewers in Switzerland. At least one person died when two small planes collided in the air in the village of Dittingen near Basel. The two planes were part of a formation of three, according to reports. Swiss media reported that one pilot managed to escape by parachute.

And yesterday it appeared the Koreas had backed off war talk in favor of diplomatic talks, but you know what they say. Sunday is a new day. South Korea has accused the North of doubling its artillery units along the border and mobilizing dozens of submarines, which undermines talks aimed at averting a military confrontation.

Meanwhile, South Korea says it has no plans to stop the loudspeaker propaganda blasts that prompted the first standoff. Each side is in the business of saving face and if it all sounds familiar, it should. This is not unusual behavior for the two arch enemies, who have technically been at war since 1953.

Still, analysts are cautiously optimistic that the length of talks this time (they went through the night Saturday, broke just before dawn and have resumed Sunday) indicate potential progress.

More details are emerging about Ayoub El-Kahzzani, the 25-year-old Moroccan accused of carrying out Friday's attack on a high-speed train between Amsterdam and Paris.

The suspect, who was restrained and held on the floor by three young American passengers, is said to have links to the "radical Islamist movement." Kahzzani's lawyer, Sophie David, said her client is "dumbfounded" by the accusations.

David said her client looked weak and malnourished and had only meant to rob people on the train, which he boarded with "enough firepower to slaughter dozens in a matter of minutes," in the words of the Washington Post.

Want to know:

You've heard about "brain drain." But how about brain gain? Homecoming Revolution is a recruitment firm aiming for the latter in African economies by wooing back talented professionals living abroad.

How do they do it? Partly, they help Africans move back to their motherlands, through efforts such as matchmaking events with prospective employers and advice on housing and re-adjustment. They also tug at some heartstrings, providing lists of “reasons to return” such as the sounds and smells of home, and lines of encouragement from recent “homecomers.”

According to Thabo Mbeki, former South African president, there are more African scientists and engineers working in the US than on the entire African continent. He estimates that Africa has lost some 20,000 professionals every year since 1990.

But Homecoming Revolution says that 359,000 South Africans have returned home in the last five years. “It’s really time that there is a significant wave of Africans returning to the continent,” said Angel Jones, the company’s founder and CEO. “This is the time.”

Strange but true:

Got plans for Wednesday? Now you do.

“No Escape,” a tale of one American family’s struggle to survive against faceless Southeast Asian hordes, is finally coming to a theater near you. Behold the trailer.

Have you watched it yet? Good. So now you know the plot: A dad played by Owen Wilson naively relocates his wife and kids to the Asian tropics. Big mistake! The savages revolt and start shooting at white people from helicopters.

GlobalPost's Patrick Winn describes what is essentially "a xenophobic nightmare brought to life with A-list actors and a multi-million dollar production budget."