National News Briefs
FBI: Passenger wanted to destroy everythingMIAMI – An airline passenger who was subdued with an ax after he kicked in the bottom of a cockpit door and tried to wriggle through said later that he had wanted to destroy everything, according to the FBI.
Pablo Moreira Mosca, a 29-year-old bank employee from Uruguay, was arrested after the incident Thursday on a United Airlines flight bound from Miami to Buenos Aires with 157 people aboard.
Argentine authorities said they were investigating whether he was under the influence of drugs or mentally unhinged. U.S. officials said he did not appear to be drunk and was not armed, and that it did not appear to be a terrorist act.
His brother said he often becomes upset when there is turbulence, and passengers told us he had been drinking a lot on the plane. But when I asked him about it, he told me he had one whiskey prior to getting on the plane, said Argentine Air Force spokesman Jorge Reta.
Moreira was sent back to the United States and appeared in federal court Friday with a bruise under his right eye. He was held without bail on a charge of interfering with a flight crew, which carries up to 20 years in prison.NEA adopts plan to protect homosexualsWASHINGTON – The nations largest teachers union will ask school districts to protect homosexual students and staff by adopting policies that punish harassment and discrimination.
Under a plan adopted Friday by the National Education Associations board of directors, schools also will be encouraged to develop factual materials for classroom discussions on homosexuality. All staff and students will be encouraged to speak up when they see or experience discrimination based on sexual orientation.
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I think its a pretty clear signal that the organization recognizes there are some pretty serious needs for gay and lesbian children in school – and employees, said Penny Kotterman, president of the Arizona Education Association. She chairs the NEAs Task Force on Sexual Orientation, which was created last fall to develop the plan.
Kotterman, a middle school special education teacher in the Kyrene School District in suburban Phoenix, said the plan will help schools with difficult issues of student sexuality.Cheneys ex-firm settles military fraud caseSACRAMENTO, Calif. – A defense contractor once overseen by Vice President Dick Cheney will pay the government $2 million to settle allegations it defrauded the military, the U.S. attorneys office said.
Houston-based Kellogg Brown & Root, an offshoot of the worldwide energy giant Halliburton, was accused of inflating contract prices for maintenance and repairs at Fort Ord, a now-shuttered military installation near Monterey.
The company admitted no liability, and denies any wrongdoing, said Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall. The settlement precludes further investigations and penalties, and she said Halliburton anticipates it will continue to be a major military contractor.
Cheney was Halliburtons chairman and chief executive when the alleged fraud occurred, but no evidence surfaced that he knew of it. Democrats made the federal grand jury investigation an issue before the 2000 election.George of the Jungle, Mr. Ed songwriter diesLOS ANGELES – Sheldon Allman, the songwriter whose words Watch out for that tree! helped turn clumsy cartoon hero George of the Jungle into a national icon, died Jan. 22 in his Culver City home. He was 77.
Allman also wrote and sang the songs mouthed by televisions popular talking horse, Mister Ed.
Although he acted in numerous movies and television shows, provided voices for cartoon characters and wrote, sang and recorded many other songs, Allman may have left his greatest mark with the words to George of the Jungle.
The theme song was performed by the rock group Presidents of the United States when the cartoon show was made into a movie starring Brendan Fraser in 1997.
Allman said he and his collaborator Stan Worth, who did most of the music, wrote that song and two others one afternoon in 1967. The others were the themes to Super Chicken and Tom Slick.