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ValueJet Crash Case Indictments
"This was a horrific accident, not a crime." That's what the lawyer for
SabreTech said this week. SabreTech is the Florida company charged with
murder in the case of the ValueJet crash in the Everglades that killed 110
people in 1996. Three SabreTech maintenance workers were indicted on
separate federal charges of conspiracy, making false statements, and
mislabeling and mishandling hazardous materials. Oxygen generators missing
safety caps and falsely labeled as empty led to a cargo hold fire that doomed
Carnival Sails Muddy Waters
A lawsuit by a nurse who said she was raped by a fellow crew member aboard a
Carnival Cruise Line ship last summer elicited this statistic: on average, a
Carnival crew member has been accused of some form of sexual assault once a
month over the last five years. Because cruise ships operate in
international waters and fly under foreign flags, there's no obligation to
tell American officials of alleged crimes. This was the first public
disclosure of its type. In her suit, the nurse is asking that every
Carnival ship carry rape-evidence kits.
Bottled is Better
And you might want to stick to bottled water on long flights. The World
Health Organization says about a quarter of all drinking water on flights
passing through Tokyo's Narita airport flunk the organization's health
standards. Blame stagnant water that remains unchanged after long flights,
poor tank maintenance, and faulty disinfectant methods.
Hotels Get Low Marks from NAACP
An annual survey by the NAACP found that the nation's
largest hotel chains improved in the areas of hiring minority workers and
reaching out to minority businesses and consumers last year. Marriott headed
the list with a grade of B+. No one flunked, but the Bass/Holiday (which
owns Holiday Inns) Wyndham, Starwood and Omni brought up the bottom with a
grade of C.
New to the Skies: JetBlue
And JetBlue is the name of the new airline funded in part by investor George
Soros that will start up early next year in the northeast. No word on the
rationale behind the name, but I'm guessing blue will be the airline's
by Cheryl Glaser
Flooding in China and Mexico
Heavy rains in Acapulco led to the evacuation of some homes due to the risk of mudslides or flooding. The Mexican beach resort's main boulevard as well as the road to the airport were also partially flooded. Major hotels, however, are open and receiving guests. Too much rainfall was the problem along China's Yangtze River as well this week. About 60,000 tourists--fifteen hundred of them foreigners--were evacuated from cruise ships on the river when the water rose above the locks built to allow construction of the massive Three Gorges dam.
Curfew in Columbia and Jamaica
And to clamp down on Marxist rebels, the country of Columbia has decreed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on road traffic in about third of the country, including areas around the capital of Bogota. In Kingston, the capital of Jamaica, there's a dusk-to-dawn curfew in some poor neighborhoods. Military troops have also established outposts there. Both moves are meant to halt gang wars that have killed 10 people in the last week.
Air Traffic Control Debacle
Technicians who maintain the nation's air traffic control system distributed leaflets at major airports this week claiming a 'rush to modernize' the system means that equipment is being rushed into service without sufficient testing or training. The Federal Aviation Administration says that's not true, that the equipment is subject to extensive testing before being put to use. The FAA says that the labor union representing the 10,000 technicians is merely trying to spur along stalled contract negotiations, as the workers have been without a contract since February, 1997.