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Phone-switching glitch delays East Coast air traffic

An American Telephone & Telegraph Co. switching problem crippled the Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center for more than an hour Monday, delaying airline traffic around Washington and much of the East Coast. More than half of the frequencies were knocked out, the Federal Aviation Administration said, but there were no life threatening situations. Airplanes were diverted and backup procedures were used to communicate with the planes. A spokesman for AT&T said the company had a loss of power, but did not know the cause.Loose seal won't hinder shuttle

CAPE CANAVERAL _ The space shuttle may return to Earth with a small gap in its cargo bay doors, but the problem caused by a loose seal will not jeopardize a safe landing Friday, pilot Sid Gutierrez said in an interview on CBS' This Morning. The shuttle Columbia's 40-degree angle slant on its return will keep fiery gases from wafting into the cargo bay "even with a slight gap there, as we'll probably wind up with in this case," he said.

Court allows parents' lawsuit

MONTPELIER, Vt. _ The Vermont Supreme Court has ruled that parents may sue to recover damages for loss of companionship when an adult child is killed. The unanimous decision sets Vermont apart from most other states. The ruling was based on a lawsuit by the parents of an 18-year-old who was killed by a drunken driver in September 1985. The driver was sentenced to three years in prison.

Briefly . . .

Presbyterians reject liberalization: The Presbyterian Church USA overwhelmingly rejected a controversial report advocating more liberal views on sexuality and underlined its ban on the ordination of openly practicing homosexuals.

No summit before late July: The superpower summit between President Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev probably will be delayed until late next month. Presidential spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said unresolved arms control problems make it unlikely.

Judge rejects method: A federal judge rejected Pennsylvania's method for picking a successor to the late Republican Sen. John Heinz, possibly throwing Attorney General Dick Thornburgh's candidacy into doubt.

Trial begins: Five environmentalists went on trial in Arizona on charges that included conspiring to sabotage nuclear plants in three states.

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