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Monday morning's headlines

A Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, Boeing's new passenger plane, takes off on its first flight, Sunday, March 20, 2011, at Paine Field in Everett, Wash.
Ted S. Warren
AP Photo
A Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, Boeing's new passenger plane, takes off on its first flight, Sunday, March 20, 2011, at Paine Field in Everett, Wash.

Happy Spring!  We'll see periods of sunshine and some rain showers today.

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • First Flight for 747-8 
  • Afghan War Crimes Photos Released
  • Libyan-Americans Monitor Conflict

Sunday for Boeing: "Absolutely Gorgeous"

A milestone flight yesterday for the Boeing Company's 747-8 resulted inhigh spirits and high praise, reports Michelle Dunlop with The Herald of Everett:

"It was absolutely gorgeous," said Elizabeth Lund, vice president of the 747 program.

The largest of Boeing's passenger jets took off just before 10 a.m. from Everett's Paine Field into a sunny morning. The plane is called the "Intercontinental" and sports a red and orange paint job. The ceremonies were also a tribute to a 747 pioneer, writes Dunlop:

Boeing paid tribute to Joe Sutter, the chief engineer of Boeing's original 747 jumbo jet, by painting the doors of the nose landing gear with Sutter's initials. The Sunday flight was an early birthday gift to Sutter, who turns 90 today.

A second test plane will fly in a few weeks. The freighter version of the aircraft is already in flight tests, and is expected to be delivered later this year.


German Media Publishes Photos of Alleged U.S. War Crimes

Der Spiegel has released pictures of accused Stryker Brigade soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord posing with the body of an Afghan civilian, according to the Washington Post:

The photos are among several hundred the Army has sought to keep under wraps as it prosecutes five members of the 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, for the alleged murders of three unarmed Afghan civilians last year.

The photos were published in Der Spiegel's print edition today, and depict Spec. Jeremy Morlock and Pfc. Andrew Holmes, in separate images, next to a bloodied corpse. The Post's Craig Whitlock reports the photos were among those prohibited for release by a U.S. military judge:

In a statement released Sunday, the Army called the actions depicted in the photos “repugnant to us as human beings and contrary to the standards and values of the United States Army...We apologize for the distress these photos cause,” the Army statement said.

KPLU's Austin Jenkins has been closely following the story of the five accused soldiers. Morlock is scheduled for sentence at a court martial hearing this Wednesday. He has pleaded guilty to murder in three different charges.


Libyans in Seattle Watch, Worry

As violence increases, Libyans living in western Washingtonare watching and listening to news reports intently. KING-TV's Tonya Mosely spoke with two Libya-born men who now live in Seattle. One of them, Yosef Elberkawi, has not been able to return to Libya for 25 years:

"America is my country, my girls go to school here, my life is here but you can't help but miss your mom, your dad, your sisters," he said.

Elberkawi was granted political asylum in the U.S. after Moammar Gadhafi's government banned his return. While a student in England, Elberkawi had spoken out against the Gadhafi regime. He remains hopeful for a change in leadership.