QANTAS SUPERJUMBO RETURNS TO SERVICE
A Qantas A380 carrying more than 450 passengers, including the airline's chief executive, took to the skies Saturday in the first flight by one of its superjumbos since a midair engine explosion three weeks ago triggered a global safety review.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said he was flying the first leg of the Sydney-Singapore-London flight as a sign of the airline's conviction that it had completed all modifications and other checks on the Rolls-Royce engines, and the planes were safe to fly.
But Australia's flagship airline suffered another public relations setback the same day when a Boeing 747 flight from Sydney to London via Bangkok was grounded in Sydney overnight due to a "wiring issue," Qantas spokesman Tom Woodward said.
Arrest is made in death of Pa. student
A 20-year-old Pennsylvania student who vanished last week while on Thanksgiving break in her hometown was killed by her on-again, off-again boyfriend, who then dumped her body in a park "like garbage," a prosecutor said Saturday. Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said Steven Pieper, 21, of Liverpool, N.Y., was arrested on a charge of murder in the death of Jenni-Lyn Watson, a junior dance major at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa. He was scheduled to be arraigned Saturday night in Clay Town Court. The arrest came hours after searchers combing through woods for any sign of Watson found the body of a woman believed to be the missing student covered in debris behind a storage shed in a swampy area of Clay Central Park in suburban Syracuse, Fitzpatrick said.
Man charged in death of girlfriend, two kids
A man was charged with murder Saturday in the stabbing deaths of his girlfriend and her two children, police and relatives said. A search was begun after the woman did not show up for a Thanksgiving dinner or work the following day. Police went to her apartment Friday and found the victims with knife wounds. Also discovered in the apartment was the suspect, who police said had self-inflicted stab wounds. Caron Montgomery, 36, was arrested Saturday at Riverside Methodist Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition. Killed were Tia Hendricks, 31, along with her children, Tahlia Hendricks, 10, and Tyron Hendricks-Montgomery, 2.
RIO DE JANEIRO
Troops surround slum hideout of drug gang
Hundreds of police and soldiers surrounded Alemao, one of Rio's most dangerous slums, after the end of a sunset deadline offered to drug gang members holed up inside, though officials late Saturday did not indicate when they might invade. A police spokesman emphasized to reporters the superior night-fighting capabilities of the troops and officers. A police battalion commander, however, said there was "zero" chance of a nighttime assault to take on the estimated 600 gang members. Still, police and soldiers exchanged intermittent, heavy gunfire with the gang members at many of the 44 entrances to the slum.
Many Haitians denied ID cards before vote
Crowds pushed and jostled all day Saturday at the doors of the cracked government buildings of Petionville to receive identification cards that Haitians need to vote in today's election. But when the clock struck 4:30 p.m. the clerks shut the doors, locked the gates and told the crowd to come back after the election. "We want our cards! Give us our cards!" the crowd shouted, scattering as police moved in. Haitians will pick a president from a field of 19 candidates, and will also choose candidates for Parliament and a third of the Senate. Election results may take days, if not weeks to sort through.
Harper Woods, Mich.: Two men have been injured in separate shootings inside Eastland Mall in the suburban Detroit community of Harper Woods, police said Saturday evening. Police said one of the victims was shot in the chest and the other was shot in the leg and that both were taken to hospital.
Rome: Three hikers died after being caught in an avalanche in northern Italy, Daniela Rossi, a spokeswoman for the Alpine rescue corps, said Saturday. Their identities and nationalities were not immediately released.