- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 5, 2001

Unions for actors reach agreement

LOS ANGELES — Actors unions have averted yearlong fears of a show-business strike by accepting a tentative contract deal aimed at improving wages for little-known performers.

The three-year deal recommended Tuesday night by negotiators for the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists now must be approved by a majority of the unions' 135,000 members.

'Sopranos' actor arrested in New York

NEW YORK — Robert Iler, the 16-year-old actor who portrays the troubled son of mob boss Tony Soprano on the hit HBO program "The Sopranos," was arrested yesterday on robbery and drug possession charges, police said.

Robert, who lives in Manhattan, was arrested with three other teen-agers after they were accused of robbing two boys of about $40 on York Avenue on the Upper East Side.

The victims flagged down a police cruiser and drove around the area until identifying Robert and the other suspects in nearby John Jay Park, police said.

All four were held on a robbery charge. Robert also was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.

Recipient of heart is man in his 50s

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The first self-contained artificial heart has been implanted into a man in his 50s, whose life expectancy has been increased from one month to six after Monday's operation, one of his surgeons said yesterday.

"He's a gentleman, in his mid to late 50s," Dr. Laman Gray of the University of Louisville told reporters.

At the request of his family, the patient's identity will remain a secret. He underwent open-heart surgery in 1992 after numerous cardiovascular incidents. A diabetic, he also suffers from hypertension and kidney problems.

NEA drops homosexuality resolution

LOS ANGELES — The National Education Association dropped consideration yesterday of a resolution that would have encouraged schools to develop materials supporting the struggles of homosexual, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and staff.

NEA officials said the teachers union would instead form a task force to explore the issue "in a holistic, reasoned way" before taking any further action.

Plane arrives in Hawaii carrying U.S. craft

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — A cavernous, Russian-made cargo plane has ferried the bulk of a disassembled U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane back onto U.S. soil, three months after it created friction in China-U.S. relations.

The Antonov-124 arrived at Hickam Air Force Base near Pearl Harbor on Tuesday with the fuselage of the EP-3E and the equipment used to dismantle the plane. It stopped in the Philippines for refueling before departing for Hawaii.

The cargo plane will continue on to Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta, Ga., which is near a repair facility of Lockheed Martin Corp., the plane's manufacturer.

Man shoots seven, kills three

RIFLE, Colo. — A man fired a handgun at people in a recreational vehicle park and a nearby grocery store, killing three and wounding four others, police said.

Mike Stagner, 42, who was brandishing a pistol in the City Market parking lot Tuesday night when police responded to the shootings, was arrested and is the only suspect, City Manager Selby Myers said yesterday.

He said police were investigating whether the shootings were race-related. Mr. Stagner is white and the victims were believed to be Hispanics.

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