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While 7 planes landed, air traffic controller napped on comfy cushions

WASHINGTON

Controller at airport made bed for nap

An air traffic controller who the Federal Aviation Administration says slept for five hours while seven planes landed at the McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, Tenn., on Feb. 19 made a bed out of couch cushions and took a blanket into the control tower so he could nap comfortably. The Washington Post said it was told by an official that another federal employee, alarmed by the silence, several times woke up the controller, who returned to his makeshift bed and resumed sleeping when the colleague departed. The incident came to light Wednesday in testimony by FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt before a House transportation subcommittee. The FAA is moving to fire the controller.

MADISON, Wis.

Wis. governor's appointee resigns

The 27-year-old son of a lobbyist whose appointment to an $81,500 job in Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's administration drew accusations of cronyism has resigned. Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie confirmed Thursday that Brian Deschane resigned Wednesday. Walker demoted Deschane this week from his higher paying job back to the post he was originally given. That post pays $65,000 a year. Deschane's father, Jerry Deschane, is the Wisconsin Builders Association lobbyist. The group's political action arm donated $29,000 to Walker and his running mate during the campaign.

KABUL, Afghanistan

Extremists attack police, killing 6

Suicide attackers stormed a police compound with AK-47s, grenades and an explosives-rigged ambulance in southern Afghanistan Thursday in an escalation of fighting that coincides with sometimes violent demonstrations over the burning of a Koran in Florida. Six Afghan security troopers died in the attack in Kandahar province. Riots in the same province incited by the Koran burning killed 10 people on Saturday, part of a wave of protests. More protests are expected today after weekly prayer services.

Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Gbagbo vows not to surrender

An armed group trying to install Alassane Ouattara as Ivory Coast's internationally recognized president has surrounded a bunker the country's strongman refuses to leave, saying they will wait for him to come out. Entrenched incumbent Laurent Gbagbo remained defiant on Thursday, even after airstrikes hammered his military bases and his residence, where he is holed up with his wife inside a tunnel. Via a spokesman in Europe, Gbagbo stressed he would not leave the country he has ruled for the past 10 years.

Elsewhere

Hungary: The postal service issued a commemorative envelope and postmark honoring the centenary of the birth of the late Ronald Reagan, and Hungarian officials on Thursday hailed the former U.S. president for his efforts to help end the communist system.

Israel: An antitank missile fired from the Gaza Strip struck a school bus in southern Israel Thursday, wounding two people, one of them critically, and prompting fierce Israeli retaliation that killed five Palestinians.

France: Paris-based UNESCO awarded its World Press Freedom Prize to jailed journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi, who has been convicted of spreading propaganda against the ruling Islamic establishment and is serving a six-year sentence in Iran.

Times wires

While 7 planes landed, air traffic controller napped on comfy cushions 04/07/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 7, 2011 10:24pm]
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  1. Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer

    Nation

    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  2. Search under way for missing sailors; Navy chief orders inquiry

    Military

    SINGAPORE — The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.

    Damage is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Singapore’s naval base on Monday.
  3. Told not to look, Donald Trump looks at the solar eclipse

    National

    Of course he looked.

    Monday's solar eclipse — life-giving, eye-threatening, ostensibly apolitical — summoned the nation's First Viewer to the Truman Balcony of the White House around 2:38 p.m. Eastern time.

    The executive metaphor came quickly.

    President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump view the solar eclipse from the Truman balcony of the White House, in Washington, Aug. 21, 2017. [Al Drago | New York Times]
  4. Secret Service says it will run out of money to protect Trump and his family Sept. 30

    National

    WASHINGTON — The Secret Service said Monday that it has enough money to cover the cost of protecting President Donald Trump and his family through the end of September, but after that the agency will hit a federally mandated cap on salaries and overtime unless Congress intervenes.

    Secret service agents walk with President Donald Trump after a ceremony to welcome the 2016 NCAA Football National Champions the Clemson Tigers on the South Lawn of the White House on June 12, 2017. [Olivier Douliery | Sipa USA via TNS]
  5. After fraught debate, Trump to disclose new Afghanistan plan

    War

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will unveil his updated Afghanistan policy Monday night in a rare, prime-time address to a nation that broadly shares his pessimism about American involvement in the 16-year conflict. Although he may send a few thousand more troops, there are no signs of a major shift in …

    U.S. soldiers patrol the perimeter of a weapons cache near the U.S. military base in Bagram, Afghanistan in 2003. Sixteen years of U.S. warfare in Afghanistan have left the insurgents as strong as ever and the nation's future precarious. Facing a quagmire, President Donald Trump on Monday will outline his strategy for a country that has historically snared great powers and defied easy solutions.  [Associated Press (2003)]