Evidence suggests
November 30, 2016

Minutes before a plane crashed in Colombia on Monday, killing 71, the pilot reportedly informed air traffic controllers that he had "run out of fuel," The Associated Press reported Wednesday. AP said that the pilot can be heard on a leaked recording asking to land because of a "total electric failure." The route the plane was flying before it crashed spanned its maximum range; the craft crashed about eight miles from the Medellín airport.

The pilot's claim in the recording aligns with the explanation offered by Ximena Sanchez, a Bolivian flight attendant who was 1 of 6 to survive the crash. Sanchez said the plane "turned off" after it "ran out of fuel." The fuel shortage could be attributed to a leak or "dumped fuel," The Associated Press reported, noting that no official conclusion about the crash's cause has been drawn. "If this is confirmed by the investigators it would be a very painful because it stems from negligence," said Alfredo Bocanegra, head of Colombia's aviation agency.

Aviation consultant John Cox said the flight's path left little room for error, even with perfect conditions. "The airplane was being flight planned right to its maximum. Right there it says that even if everything goes well they are not going to have a large amount of fuel when they arrive," said Cox, also the CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based Safety Operating Systems. "I don't understand how they could do the flight nonstop with the fuel requirements that the regulations stipulate." Becca Stanek

January 6, 2016

Hillary Clinton isn't the only candidate who could be a shoo-in for her party's nomination this presidential election. Princeton Professor Sam Wang says that an analysis of existing and past poll data has led him to this conclusion: "Donald Trump is in as strong a position to get his party's nomination as Hillary Clinton in 2016, George W. Bush in 2000, or Al Gore in 2000."

While Wang acknowledges that Trump's candidacy is a bit different than the other examples he cites — he doesn't have the establishment behind him, for example — Wang says the data does skew decidedly in Trump's favor.

In each of the presidential elections since 2000, candidates that ranked first or second in both national polls and surveys in Iowa and New Hampshire were almost always the ones to win the nomination. In fact, the only candidate in the last four elections that proved to be the exception was Democratic nominee John Kerry in 2004, who was No. 4 nationally and No. 3 in Iowa. In New Hampshire, he clenched the No. 1 spot.

Out of the 2016 Republican field, Trump is the only candidate with all No. 1 and No. 2 rankings. The only candidate close to Trump is Ted Cruz — but he has a No. 3 ranking in New Hampshire.

Read Wang's full breakdown here. Becca Stanek

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