- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 8, 2002

Shuttle returns after six months

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. After a record-setting streak of bad landing weather, shuttle Endeavour returned to Earth yesterday, bringing an astronaut and a pair of cosmonauts home from a six-month space-station voyage.
The spaceship swooped through a hazy afternoon sky and touched down on the runway three days late.
With onboard supplies and fuel getting low, NASA began the day determined to land Endeavour, if not in Florida then in California. As if to seal the deal, Mission Control awakened the crew of seven with Perry Como's recording of "I'll Be Home for Christmas."
But the weather finally cooperated in Cape Canaveral, and Mission Control instructed the shuttle pilots to aim for their home port. Thick clouds prevented Endeavour from landing each of the three previous days.
NASA's next shuttle flight, meanwhile, is just a month away. Columbia will blast off Jan. 16 on a science research mission with Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon.

American Airlines asks employees for pay freeze
DALLAS American Airlines, the world's largest carrier, is asking employees to forgo pay raises they are due next year to help the company stem massive losses.
American, whose parent company lost nearly $3 billion in the first nine months of this year, said that canceling pay raises would save $130 million.
Chairman and Chief Executive Donald Carty has said the company needs to cut $4 billion in annual costs and has found about half of that by laying off workers, mothballing planes, canceling orders for new jets, reducing food service and other changes.
Mr. Carty also said he and other managers would go without raises for the second straight year.
American's flight attendants are scheduled to get a 3 percent raise Jan. 1 and additional raises in July. Mechanics and others represented by the Transport Workers Union are due a 3 percent increase March 1.
Nonunion airport and reservations agents are scheduled for an average 90-cent hourly wage increase next year, company officials said.
The major U.S. airlines are expected to lose about $9 billion this year and trace many of their difficulties to a weak economy and travelers' reluctance to fly after last year's terrorist attacks.

Boy dies after returning to burning home
DIXONVILLE, Pa. A 4-year-old boy died in a house fire when he broke free from his mother's grasp steps away from the front door and ran to the back of the flame- and smoke-filled house, relatives said.
Dustin Detwiler died of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning in the fire Friday morning in Dixonville, about 50 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, authorities said.
"Whenever I ran from the kitchen into the living room, I went to grab both of them and he just like slid out of my hands," said Dustin's mother, Rebecca Lahman.
Miss Lahman and her 2-year-old daughter escaped the fire unharmed.
Firefighters and neighbors tried to rescue the boy but were turned away by the intense flames, which gutted the home in minutes, witnesses said.
State police fire marshals were trying to determine the cause of the fire.

Shotgun-wielding man wounds police officer
LOS ANGELES A man armed with a shotgun wounded a police officer who attempted to stop him for carrying the weapon on a street, authorities said.
The officer, who was hospitalized in stable condition Friday night after undergoing surgery to his right shoulder, was expected to fully recover, said Officer Don Cox, a police spokesman. He was not identified.
He was the second law-enforcement officer shot in Southern California in seven days. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy David Powell, 42, was killed Nov. 30 while trying to get into a house where a shooting suspect had fled in suburban Artesia.
The wounded officer was one of two who responded to a noon call of a man with a shotgun walking down a street and ordered him to drop the weapon, police said.
The suspect refused to drop the weapon and reportedly opened fire, hitting the officer in the shoulder. The suspect was subdued by other officers.

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