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FAA issues new rules after traffic controller falls asleep



The Federal Aviation Administration gave air traffic controllers new procedures Friday as officials sought to contain the fallout from an incident this week in which two airliners landed at Reagan National Airport without assistance because the lone controller on duty was asleep.

Regional radar facilities are now required to alert controllers working alone at night in an airport tower that a plane is approaching, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in a statement. The radar controllers are "to confirm that there is a controller prepared to handle the incoming flight," he said.

Regional controllers have also been reminded that if no controller can be raised at an airport tower, proper procedures require they offer pilots the option of diverting to another airport, Babbitt said.

In the incident at Reagan National Airport early Wednesday morning, the two planes — an American Airlines flight from Dallas and a United Airlines flight from Chicago with a combined 165 people on board — landed safely. The controller has not been identified.


Suspect in officer's death surrenders

The man charged in the shooting death of a Georgia police officer surrendered on live TV on Friday night after he released the last four of eight hostages he was holding at an Athens apartment.

Jamie Hood, 33, turned himself in after the head of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation went before TV cameras and promised he wouldn't be hurt if he gave himself up. Officers quickly surrounded Hood after he surrendered.

Police had been searching for Hood since Tuesday, when police Officer Elmer "Buddy" Christian was shot and killed while police say he attempted to apprehend Hood in connection with a carjacking and kidnapping. Another officer, Tony Howard, was shot in the face and upper body, and is recovering from his wounds.


Second border activist convicted in killings

An Arizona jury on Friday found a second defendant guilty in the home invasion killing of a father and daughter in 2009.

Jason Eugene Bush, 33, was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder in the slaying of Raul Flores, 29, and his 9-year-old daughter, Brisenia, the Green Valley News reported. His co-defendant, Shawna Forde, the leader of the Minutemen American Defense, was convicted in February in the deaths of Flores and his daughter and was sentenced to death.

Prosecutors say the father and daughter were killed during an attempt to steal drug money to fund the group's operations.


Labor mural to be moved to new location

A mural depicting the history of the labor movement that was ordered removed from a Maine state office building is going to take up residence at Portland City Hall.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage incensed union officials when he ordered the removal of the 36-foot mural from the lobby of the building that houses the Maine Department of Labor. On Friday, LePage said he appreciates the history represented by the mural, which was created by artist Judy Taylor. But he said artwork displayed in that building must reflect the department's goal of balancing the interests "of both employees and employers to accomplish its mission."


American convicted again in mate's death

An American who drugged her investment banker-husband with a milk shake and bludgeoned him to death in 2003 was convicted of murder Friday at her second trial in a case that grabbed world attention with lurid details on the breakdown of a wealthy expatriate marriage in Hong Kong.

The unanimous verdict and automatic life sentence match the outcome of the first trial against Nancy Kissel, 46, whose lawyers argued that she was battered by husband Robert Kissel. His estate was worth $18 million.

Her 2005 conviction was overturned last year because prosecutors improperly cross-examined her and the original judge allowed hearsay evidence.


ATLANTA: Former President Jimmy Carter is expected to visit Cuba next week to meet with Cuban President Raul Castro to discuss economic policies and ways to improve relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

Honduras: A supreme court judge dismissed arrest warrants for former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya on Friday, allowing him to return without detention to the country where he was deposed in a June 2009 coup.

Times wires

FAA issues new rules after traffic controller falls asleep

03/25/11 [Last modified: Friday, March 25, 2011 11:31pm]
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