Sweden boosts military readiness amid Russia concerns June 26, 2015 6:42 AMStockholm (AFP) – Sweden is stepping up its military capabilities and exercises with NATO amid concerns over Russia’s military resurgence, Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist said on Friday.”It’s a general fact that Russia is carrying out bigger, more complex, and in some cases more provocative and defiant, exercises. We are following that development and are now strengthening our military capability and our international cooperation,” Hultqvist told paper of reference Dagens Nyheter.Sweden, a non-NATO country which has a longstanding tradition of military non-alliance, will increase its exercises with the Alliance, including those on Swedish territory.Swedish troops will take part in a large NATO exercise in Spain in September, and in Norway in 2018.The country also took part in NATO’s recently completed Baltops exercises in the Baltic Sea.”We need to keep up with the new reality. It is broadly anchored in parliament that it is important for the United States to be militarily represented in Europe and this is part of the balance,” he said.Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist (left) photographed on June 10, 2015 during a visit to Indi …His comments came a day after US think tank Cepa published a report claiming Russia had held exercises with 33,000 troops aimed at practising an invasion of the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, among other sites, on March 21-25.Swedish security experts have widely downplayed the risk of a possible invasion, instead interpreting the exercises as a sign of increased posturing from Moscow.Sweden’s defence budget has been cut back drastically since the end of the Cold War, as the military turned its focus away from territorial defence in favour of international peacekeeping missions.But a June 16 defence ministry proposal to parliament refers, for the first time since the end of the Cold War, to building up the country’s defence „to prepare Sweden for war”.In April, Sweden announced plans to raise defence spending by 10.2 billion kronor (1.09 billion euros, $1.18 billion) for 2016-2020, mostly to modernise ships to detect and intercept submarines.The re-positioning comes amid an uptick in Russian military activity in the past year.In October, a week-long search for a suspected Russian submarine in waters off Stockholm was called off, with the military unable to identify the intruding vessel.A series of alleged airspace violations by Russian jets over the last year has also raised jitters in Sweden.Swedish public opinion has long been opposed to NATO membership, though recent polls have shown an increase in support.
Donald Trump Is Taking All His Toys and Going Home By Samantha Cowan | Takepart.com8 hours agoDonald Trump Is Taking All His Toys and Going Home A lot of people don’t want to work with Donald Trump—and not just because he’s known for firing people on national television.
Responding to comments the business mogul made about Mexican immigrants when Trump announced his candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination for president, partners and performers are refusing to participate in the Miss USA pageant, owned by Trump and NBC Universal.Broadcast company Univision announced Thursday it would not simulcast the pageant on its Spanish language channel, UniMas. Then Trump sent a letter to the company’s CEO on Friday, barring its employees from stepping his Miami golf course and country club, which are adjacent to Univision’s headquarters.He also added a rather threatening P.S. to the typed letter.”Please congratulate your Mexican Government officials for having made such outstanding trade deals with the United States. However, inform them that should I become President, those days are over. We are bringing jobs back to the U.S. Also, a meaningful border will be immediately created, not the laughingstock that currently exists.” Trump wrote.These remarks are relatively tame compared to his previous comments.“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said during his kickoff speech last week. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”The comments incensed many of Trump’s peers, with both UniMas cohosts withdrawing from the simulcast as well as Colombian performer J. Balvin, whose performance would have aired on both UniMas and NBC.NBC, however, is moving forward with its broadcast of the pageant on July 12. A long time partner of Trump’s—it also airs his reality series Celebrity Apprentice—even the peacock network had to assert its dissenting views from Trump.“Donald Trump’s opinions do not represent those of NBC, and we do not agree with his positions on a number of issues, including his recent comments on immigration,” the network said in statement issued late Thursday.Trump has remained unapologetic, and threatened to sue Univision from pulling out of the multi-million dollar contract.So, Why Should You Care? Trump leads all GOP candidates except Jeb Bush, according to arecent poll of New Hampshire Republicans. Though intially considered a long shot, he may have a legitimate chance of placing strongly in the first primary of the 2016 election, which would likely prolong his campaign. Regardless of your stance on immigration policies, a primary season with a candidate who makes inaccurate, racist comments about Latin Americans is unlikely to elevate the discourse, distracting from the real problems the U.S. faces and damaging relations with Latin American countries.
Terror on the beach: Tourists recount Tunisia attack horrors By ELAINE GANLEY4 hours ago Reuters Videos Tourists flee Tunisia after deadly attackNewsTourists flee Tunisia after deadly attack SOUSSE, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia’s postcard destination for tourists is reeling from the terror that blighted another day of play at the Mediterranean seaside resort of Sousse. A man armed with a Kalashnikov and grenades gunned down tourists on a private beach, and then moved methodically through the grounds of a luxury hotel — to the swimming pool, reception area and offices.Related Stories
At least 38 people were killed and dozens of others wounded in Friday’s deadly noon rampage by a young Tunisian disguised as a tourist ready for fun in the sun.From accounts of the attack by shocked survivors, tourists who stayed on, lifeguards and beach employees who helped at the site of the massacre emerge stories of love and horror.No one grasped what was happening at first in what became Tunisia’s worst terrorist attack. Were the popping sounds and explosions fireworks for yet another celebration?On Saturday, the private beach of the 370-room Imperial Marhaba Hotel was immaculate with chairs lined up under straw umbrellas — and police tape sealing it off. Only the emptiness and an overturned lounge chair with flowers accumulating hinted at the horror. „Why? Warum?” read a note on one bouquet. „Warum” is German for „why.” Sousse is a popular destination for Germans and at least one German was killed in the attack.Some people cried as they placed their offerings.Tunisian army soldiers guard the street near the attacked Imperial Marhaba hotel in Sousse, Tunisia, …Then there are the horrific recollections of the living — many of whom quickly fled Sousse.__Tony Callaghan of Norfolk, England, was near the pool around midday when he heard what many others thought were fireworks. With his 23 years in the Royal Air Force, Callaghan knew better.”I knew it was gunfire … The hotel was being attacked.”Callaghan, 63, suffered a gunshot wound to his leg and his wife, Christine, 62, had her femur shattered. Both were among those being treated at Sahloul Hospital, the largest in Sousse.Flowers at the scene of the shooting in Sousse, Tunisia, Saturday, June 27, 2015. The morning after …Along with what he said were some 40 people, they had taken refuge in the hotel’s administrative offices, not far from the reception area. They climbed to the first floor, „but then we were trapped.” Callaghan said he told people to hide because the gunman was following „and shooting coming up the stairs.”His wife stumbled in the corridor and „was screaming ‘Help me! Help me!'” Callaghan said shortly before heading for surgery. Another woman had been shot four times, he said, and „was lying in a pool of blood.”The gunfire appeared endless. For Callaghan, it lasted about 40 minutes. „It was, like, incessant.”But no one really counted as they looked to save their lives. Some others suggested it lasted about 20 minutes.The attacker „took time to go to the beach, to the pool, the reception, the administration, climbing the stairs,” said Imen Belfekih, an employee for seven years at the hotel. She was among those hiding in the administration offices, along with a fellow employee, who was wounded in the attack.A couple of tourists lay flowers at the scene of Friday’s shooting attack in the coastal town of …Belfekih said that the attacker threw a grenade as he climbed the stairs to the rooms where the group was hiding, apparently following the screams of fear. Her colleague was hospitalized with shrapnel wounds.”We saw only black. It was smoky. Everyone was hiding in offices …. I hid under a desk,” she said.A police officer who was called to the scene told The Associated Press that the gunman threw three grenades — but one failed to explode. He wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the case and asked not to be identified by name.Belfekih said she was on the beach when she first heard the gunfire. She and her wounded friend only left their hideout „when we heard silence.”The varying accounts of the ordeal made it difficult to understand exactly where the gunman was killed by police. However, he apparently went back downstairs to make an escape. Several accounts put the location outside. And no one who spoke with the AP could clearly describe him.Tunisian police officers guard the street near the attacked Imperial Marhaba hotel in Sousse, Tunisi …”I never saw him because we were running for our lives,” Callaghan said._The hotel manager, Mohamed Becheur, said he had no details about the tragedy that befell his establishment, arriving later when notified and after the attack.He has not officially closed the hotel, though concedes that everyone will shortly be gone.”We may have zero clients today but we will keep our staff,” Becheur said.Tourists walk at the Nfidha airport near Sousse, Tunisia, Saturday June 27, 2015. Tunisia’s prime mi …His hotel was a scene of chaos for hours, with people hiding out in halls, offices and bathrooms.Marian King, from the Dublin suburb of Lucan, was in her final few hours before departure when chaos struck. Then a British woman ran into the lobby screaming that her husband had been shot and was „lying on a sunbed in a pool of blood.”King immediately returned with her son to her room, hiding for two hours in the bathroom as sounds of gunfire continued for what she said was an hour. Others from the hotel joined them.”There were footsteps in the corridor and people running back and forth, shouting in all languages, every language,” she told Irish radio station RTE.Travel agents were calling with rides out of town, and with a 10-minute warning „we chucked everything into bags and went.”_On Saturday, a pall hung over sunny Sousse. Scattered sunbathers who said they weren’t afraid waded in the water. An occasional police patrol boat skimmed the water, and police on horseback worked the sand. But there was little sign of the violence a day earlier.But there was lots of praise from tourists for employees of their respective hotels who may soon be out of work if Tunisia’s prime industry, tourism, is gutted by the attack.Employees at nearby hotels or those with outlets on the beach joined in the rescue operation, running to the massacre site to lend a hand.”You hear the gunfire. You can’t count the number of times,” said Haytham, a lifeguard at the nearby Royal Kenz Hotel. He and others cleared the beach and moved some wounded into ambulances. Visibly shaken, he and a group of tourists laid a bouquet at the doomed beach.Faycal Mhoub, who from his post at the beach offers camel rides, rushed from his circuit when he heard the news, putting tourists in the family home, then went to help moved the wounded.”I live with the tourists more than with my family,” he said. „I don’t know how many months or years tourists won’t come, but I’ll be at my spot.”_Shawn Pogatchnik contributed to this report from Dublin, Ireland.
Activists: IS fighters kill 200 civilians in Syrian town By HAMZA HENDAWI8 hours ago BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State fighters who launched a surprise attack on a Syrian border town massacred more than 200 civilians, including women and children, before they were killed or driven out by Kurdish forces, activists said on Saturday.Related Stories
Kurdish activist Mustafa Bali, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Kurdish official Idris Naasan put at 40-50 the number of elite IS fighters killed in the two days of fighting since the militants sneaked into the town of Kobani before dawn on Thursday.Clashes, however, continued to the south and west of the predominantly Kurdish town on the Turkish border on Saturday, they said, although the fighting in the south quietened down by nightfall.Naasan said 23 of the city’s Kurdish defenders were killed in the fighting, but the Observatory put the number at 16. The discrepancy could not immediately be reconciled, but conflicting casualty figures are common in the aftermath of major fighting.”Kobani has been completely cleared of Daesh, and Kurdish forces are now combing the town looking for fighters who may have gone into hiding,” Bali, using the Arabic acronym for the IS, told The Associated Press by telephone from Kobani. The official Syrian news agency, SANA, also reported that Kobani has been cleared of IS fighters.The more than 200 civilians killed in the last two days include some who perished in IS suicide bombings, including one at the border crossing with Turkey, but they were mostly shot dead in cold blood, some in their own homes, the activists said.Medics carry a wounded man that arrived from the Syrian town of Kobani into a hospital on the Turkis …”They were revenge killings,” Rami Abdurrahman, the observatory’s director, told the AP.Others were caught in the cross-fire as gun battles raged in the town’s streets or were randomly targeted by IS snipers on rooftops.Bali, Abdurrahman and Naasan all said the number of Kobani civilians and IS fighters killed was likely to rise as rescue teams continue to search neighborhoods where the fighting took place.Massacring civilians is not an uncommon practice by the Islamic State group, whose men have slaughtered thousands in Syria and neighboring Iraq over the last year, when its fighters blitzed through large swathes of territory and declared a caliphate that spans both nations.The Islamic State group often posts on social media networks gruesome images of its fighters executing captives as part of psychological warfare tactics designed to intimidate and inspire desertions among their enemies. Last week, it posted one of its most gruesome video clips, showing the execution of 16 men it claimed to have been spies. Five of the men were drowned in a cage, four were burned inside a car and seven were blown up by explosives.People standing on the Turkish side of the border with Syria, on the outskirts of Suruc, Turkey, wat …The killing of so many civilians in Kobani, according to Abdurrahman, was premeditated and meant by the Islamic State to avenge their recent defeats at the hands of Kurdish forces.The Western-backed Kurdish forces have emerged as a formidable foe of the extremist group, rolling them back in the north and northeast parts of Syria, where the Kurds are the dominant community, as well as in northern Iraq, where they have also made significant gains against the IS.Kobani has become a symbol of Kurdish resistance after it endured a months-long siege by the Islamic State group before Kurdish forces, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, broke through and drove the militants out in January.Thursday’s surprise attack on the town and a simultaneous one targeting the remote northeastern town of Hassakeh came two days after the Islamic State group called for a wave of violence during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a time of fasting and piety that is now in its second week.”You Muslims, take the initiative and rush to jihad, rise up you mujahideen everywhere, push forward and make Ramadan a month of calamities for the nonbelievers,” IS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani said in an audio message released Tuesday.In what also appears to be a response to that call, terror attacks took place Friday across three continents: shootings in a Tunisian beach resort that left 39 people dead, an explosion and a beheading in a U.S.-owned chemical warehouse in southeast France and a suicide bombing by an Islamic State affiliate at a Shiite mosque in Kuwait that killed at least 27 worshippers.The attacks also came after the group suffered a series of setbacks over the past two weeks, including the loss earlier this week of the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad — one of the group’s main points for bringing in foreign fighters and supplies.Fighting is continuing in Hassakeh for the third successive day, with government and Kurdish forces separately fighting IS militants who have seized several neighborhoods in the mostly Kurdish town, according to the Observatory. Forces loyal to embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad have brought in reinforcements from the town of Deir el-Zour to the south while the Syrian air force pounded IS positions inside the town.
England eliminates host Canada in World Cup Q-final, 2-1 By GREG BEACHAM26 minutes ago VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Lucy Bronze had never played in front of anything she could compare to that flag-waving, drum-banging, deafening Canadian crowd. Jodie Taylor had to laugh as she looked around BC Place to see a few overwhelmed English fans in that rambunctious sea of red.Related Stories
It felt like England against the world in this World Cup quarterfinal.And that was nothing the Lionesses couldn’t handle.Taylor and Bronze scored in the shocking first 14 minutes, and England eliminated Canada from its home World Cup with a 2-1 victory Saturday.”To play against a crowd that was basically about 54,000 of them against us and only 10 for us, was an unbelievable experience,” said Bronze, whose header turned out to be the winner. „It’s something that we’ll probably never experience again. Credit to the Canadian fans, because it was hard to play in. We had to dig deep to get past that.”The Lionesses dug to the depths of their training and spirit to survive, even navigating a second-half goalkeeper change to secure their nation’s first trip to the semifinals in the women’s tournament. With two early strikes and tenacious defensive play, England crushed the hopes of a host nation hoping to celebrate Canada’s first World Cup title on this same field next month.England’s Jill Scott, left, and Canada’s Kadeisha Buchanan tangle going for the ball during …Instead, England will face defending champion Japan in the semifinals in Edmonton, Alberta, on Wednesday — which also happens to be Canada Day.”Game by game, this team has more belief,” said Taylor, a surprise choice for the starting lineup. „To be playing the hosts in front of 54,000 Canadian fans is quite a brutal environment to be in. We weathered the storm and dug deep, and we have every belief we can keep going.”England’s surge to the quarterfinals raised attention to the perpetually overlooked Lionesses, and the strong backing of Prince William further increased the spotlight. With this gritty victory, they’re two wins away from their first World Cup title — something their male counterparts haven’t won since 1966, as any English football fan knows.”We’re … now the third England team to get to a semifinal, joining the ’66 and that ’90 group,” England coach Mark Sampson said, the meaning clear in his voice. „I’ve never been in a stadium as loud, as passionate for their team as that was. They couldn’t have pushed us any further.”Christine Sinclair scored in the 42nd minute for Canada, which had given up just one goal in the entire World Cup before giving up two more just three minutes apart.England’s Jill Scott, left, and Canada’s Kadeisha Buchanan vie for the ball during first-hal …After Taylor scored the opener on a horrible turnover by Lauren Sesselmann, Bronze added an impressive long header to build a lead that England never relinquished.Although Sinclair got one back before halftime, Canada struggled to generate many good chances in the waning minutes of the scoreless second half. The drought slowly crushed the crowd of 54,027 supporting a plucky, defense-minded team that never scored more than one goal in any World Cup match while reaching its first quarterfinal since 2003.”I’m proud of my girls,” Canada coach John Herdman said. „They give you everything. It just wasn’t good enough tonight. The dream is over. It’s not how we imagined it to end.”England wasn’t even bothered when Siobhan Chamberlain replaced goalie Karen Bardsley early in the second half after Bardsley complained about a problem with her right eye. Chamberlain is on her third World Cup team, but got about 30 seconds to warm up for her first appearance.”Well, they can’t start the game without me, so it was pointless to be rushing,” laughed Chamberlain, who believes Bardsley has an infection that caused her eye to swell.Canada’s Christine Sinclair (12) runs the ball back to center field after scoring against Englan …After Canada opened the quarterfinal with an impressive push, Taylor pounced in the 11th minute when the ball got away from a falling Sesselmann. Taylor dodged another defender and tucked in the first goal for a 29-year-old forward and Oregon State product who only made her senior team debut last year.With the crowd still in disbelief, Bronze doubled the Lionesses’ lead by heading Fara Williams’ long pass off the crossbar and in for her second goal of the World Cup.England’s bench players leaped onto the field in elation. The crowd was somnolent until a dropped ball by Bardsley led to the 155th international goal by Sinclair, the British Columbia product in her fourth World Cup.England controlled long stretches of play after Chamberlain came on, but Canada eventually pushed.Sophie Schmidt had perhaps Canada’s best late chance in the 83rd minute, but put a low pass high over England’s net. Sinclair put a header well wide off a corner kick in the 90th minute, and England ran out the clock on a dramatic victory.”You could just cry, right?” Herdman asked. „We knew that if we take this game, we’ve got a real shot at going all the way through. We hadn’t written the script to be two-nil down that early.”
French attack suspect grilled as gruesome ‘selfie’ emerges By Fran Blandy1 hour ago Paris (AFP) – French police questioned a suspected Islamist about an attack in which the man displayed his boss’s severed head, as it emerged he may have sent a „selfie” of the decapitation.Related Stories
Sources close to the investigation said the suspect, Yassin Salhi, a 35-year-old married father-of-three sent a picture of him with the severed head via the WhatsApp messaging service.The message was sent to a Canadian number but investigators said they were still working to determine the final recipient, as the number used could be a relay.Canadian authorities are working with French police to help find the recipient of the gruesome selfie.”Though I can’t comment on operational aspects of national security, I can say that we are helping French authorities in their investigation,” said Jean-Christophe de Le Rue, spokesman for Canadian public safety minister Steven Blaney.Authorities are questioning Salhi about Friday’s attack, during which he also drove his van into a warehouse packed with dangerous gases in an apparent bid to blow up the factory and himself.A handout picture released on June 27, 2015 shows Herve Cornara, the boss of the ATC delivery factor …The prosecutor in the case said firefighters overpowered Salhi as he was trying to open acetone bottles in what is believed to have been an attempt to cause a larger explosion at the US-owned Air Products factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Lyon.The firefighters then discovered the decapitated body of his 54-year-old employer Herve Cornara — who ran a delivery firm — near the car, along with a knife.Cornara’s head was pinned to a nearby fence.”The head was surrounded by two Islamic flags bearing the Shahada, the profession of (the Muslim) faith,” said prosecutor Francois Molins.- Suspect begins to talk –People assemble for a minute of silence outside the city hall of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier on June 27, …Salhi began speaking to investigators late Saturday, a close source to the case said.”He had remained silent but he changed his stance… and began to explain the sequence of events,” the source said.No jihadist group has claimed Friday’s attack, which came on the same day as a massacre at a Tunisian beach resort in which 38 people were gunned down and a suicide bombing in Kuwait that killed 26.The other two attacks have been claimed by the Islamic State group.However, sources close to the investigation said Salhi was radicalised at the start of the century after contact with a man suspected of preparing attacks in Indonesia with Al-Qaeda militants.French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve delivers a speech after a defense council at the Elysee p …The first results of the autopsy on the victim did not provide the exact cause of death, nor whether Cornara was already dead before he was beheaded.Meanwhile, in the town of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, shocked residents held a minute’s silence, followed by a pulsating rendition of France’s national anthem.One man, Philippe Ouastani, said he came to show solidarity with the victim. „It’s unheard of to decapitate someone in the 21st century. What weapons do we have to combat that? Being here, together.”Another woman, wearing the Muslim headscarf, said she was „unable to speak” when she heard the news.”These acts have got nothing to do with religion. The Prophet never said to kill innocent people,” raged the woman, who requested to remain anonymous.People assemble ahead of a minute of silence outside the city hall of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier on Jun …She tried to find words to explain the killing to her four-year-son.”There are naughty people who have done bad things. The police will put them in prison to punish them for their silly, silly actions,” she told him.- ‘Better armed’ -The gory attack in France came nearly six months after a three-day Islamist killing spree in Paris left 17 people dead, most of them gunned down in the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.Like the Charlie Hebdo attackers and Islamist Mohamed Merah who gunned down soldiers and Jewish children in the southwest city of Toulouse in 2012, Salhi had been known to security services for „radicalisation”, but slipped through the cracks.Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Friday Salhi had been investigated for links to radical Salafists in Lyon, but was not identified as having participated in terrorist activities and did not have a criminal record.Speaking after a ministerial meeting on Saturday with President Francois Hollande, Cazeneuve vowed the government would „continue to work relentlessly” against terrorism.France is on high alert over hundreds of citizens who have gone to wage jihad in Iraq and Syria, as well as those involved in recruitment or radicalisation online.Similarly, Europe has for months been bracing for so-called „lone wolf” attacks by supporters of Islamic State, which has urged its followers to strike wherever they can.Earlier this week, France passed a controversial new spying law granting sweeping powers to snoop on citizens.Cazeneuve said the law allowed security services to be „better armed” to fight the jihadist threat.Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who cut short an official trip to South America to rush home, warned France faced more attacks and that Friday’s assault would increase tensions in the country, putting citizens’ resilience „to the test”.
Rahal survives pack racing of Fontana for second career win By JOHN MARSHALL18 minutes ago FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — Graham Rahal avoided a penalty despite driving out of pit road with part of his fueling mechanism attached and held on through a wild finish for his second career IndyCar victory.Related Stories
Any other day, that would have been the big news.After a frenetic day of racing that culminated with Ryan Briscoe hurtling through the air at the finish, all the drivers wanted to talk about was surviving.Rahal ended a 125-race winless streak by taking the checkers at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday, but there was more criticism of IndyCar than praise for the third-generation driver after a white-knuckle day of pack racing around the 2-mile oval.”We shouldn’t be racing like this,” reigning Indianapolis 500 champion and points leader Juan Pablo Montoya said. „This is full pack racing and sooner or later somebody is going to get hurt. We don’t need to be doing this.”IndyCar mandated changes on aero kits for the 500-mile Fontana race, exerting more downforce on the cars in hopes of combating high temperatures that were expected to turn Auto Club Speedway slick.Graham Rahal celebrates after winning the IndyCar auto race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. …Montoya was among the most vocal opponents to the extra downforce, saying it would lead to the type of pack racing that is entertaining for fans, but dangerous to the drivers.IndyCar drivers have lamented pack racing since two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon was killed during the high-speed season finale at Las Vegas in 2011, saying it leaves little margin for error at extra-high speeds.IndyCar has tried to walk a fine line at its big ovals, wanting to produce exciting races with lots of passing while keeping the drivers safe.After three cars went airborne in preparation for the Indianapolis 500, IndyCar made a series of rule changes designed to keep the cars on the track.It worked for the Indy 500, and for the oval race at Texas. But the race at Texas was caution-free and lacked the excitement that fans look for during oval races.Ryan Briscoe, left, flips through the infield grass near Ryan Hunter-Reay on Saturday June 27, 2015, …Most of drivers Saturday believed the series crossed the line at Fontana, particularly after a day bumping, banging and driving up to five wide at 200 mph was capped off by Briscoe going airborne after colliding with Ryan Hunter-Reay with two laps left.Both drivers were OK after the wreck that sent Briscoe hurtling into the grass — a little over a month after he replaced James Hinchcliffe following a near-fatal crash during Indy 500 practice.”What are we doing? What ARE we doing?” said defending series champion Will Power, who was involved in a late-race crash. „You went in and told them it would be pack racing and that was a Vegas situation right there. I’m so happy that no one was really hurt. Someone’s got to take responsibility for how this day panned out. As exciting as it is, it’s insane because you can’t get away.”The race was certainly entertaining from a fan’s perspective, with cars sling-shotting past each other at an average of 205 mph and racing up to five-wide.The race eclipsed the season high for lead changes — 37 at Indianapolis — by the midpoint and had 80 overall, topping the IndyCar record of 73 set at Auto Club Speedway in 2001.Simon Pagenaud (22), from France, leads the field toward Turn 1 on Saturday June 27, 2015, on the op …It also included 14 different leaders, the last one being Rahal, who started 19th and avoided penalty for a mid-race pit-road foul-up to win for the first time since his inaugural victory at St. Petersburg in 2008.Tony Kanaan finished second, Marco Andretti was third and Montoya fourth.”That was nuts, but it was fun,” said Rahal, of Rahal Letterman Lannigan Racing.It certainly was dicey.Drivers began swapping spots from the drop of the green flag, sometimes going four-wide around the corners. Much of the action was up front, with 32 lead changes in the opening 100 laps.Takuma Sato (14), from Japan, leads during the early laps Saturday, June 27, 2015, during the IndyCa …Despite the chaos, the first caution didn’t come until the lap 136, when Helio Castroneves went into the wall after being squeezed between Power and Briscoe.Castroneves, who entered the race fourth in points, led the most laps to that point (43), but was unable to return after the crew tried to fix his car.”They just closed it up; Briscoe didn’t have to do that,” Castroneves said.The chaos got worse after that.Cars darted and dashed around each other at more than 200 mph, occasionally touching tires in what looked like video-game racing at times. The cars went five wide with less than 50 laps left and there were two rows of four-wide racing a few minutes after that.Juan Pablo Montoya (2), from Colombia, drives next to Simon Pagenaud, from France, Saturday, June 27 …Power took the lead after a caution with 30 laps left, but Briscoe went around him. Rahal managed to squeeze past Briscoe by inches just before Power and Takuma Sato came together with nine laps left, bringing out a red flag.The drama still wasn’t finished.With Rahal trying to hold off challenges from several drivers, Briscoe came together with Hunter-Reay, sending his No. 5 car sailing through the air. The nose of Briscoe’s car came down hard in the grass and sent him spinning through the air before coming to a rest.Briscoe gave everyone a sigh of relief when he flashed the thumbs up from the cockpit, but it didn’t quiet the debate after the race.”It was exciting for you guys, that’s for sure, but it was crazy for us,” Kanaan said. „In the end, we all survived.”