Nation digest 07/02/02

Tuesday, July 2, 2002

Miami police: Pilots were drunk before takeoff

MIAMI -- Two America West pilots at the helm of a Phoenix-bound jetliner were ordered to return to the airport terminal moments before takeoff Monday and were arrested for being legally drunk, police said.

The pilots were charged with operating an aircraft under the influence and operating a motor vehicle under the influence, police said.

Both have been suspended with pay pending an investigation by the airline, said Patty Nowack, an America West spokeswoman.

Miami-Dade police Detective Juan DelCastillo said security screeners at Miami International Airport first noticed a whiff of alcohol on the men when the pilots tried to bring cups of coffee through the checkpoint.

Pilot Thomas Cloyd, 44, had a .091 blood-alcohol level, while Christopher Hughes registered .084, police said.

Northrop Grumman to buy TRW for $7.8 billion

CLEVELAND -- Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. agreed to buy TRW Inc. for $7.8 billion in stock, nearly $2 billion more than it originally offered earlier this year.

The deal announced Monday, reached after four months of wrangling, will make Northrop the nation's second-largest defense contractor with projected annual revenue of more than $26 billion and approximately 123,000 employees.

Northrop said it will swap $60 worth of its stock for each TRW share, or 27 percent more than it had offered in February.

The sale must still be approved by shareholders of both companies and federal regulators. The companies said they expected the deal to be completed by the end of the year.

Evangelist insults mourners, dead man

LOXLEY, Ala. -- An evangelist who was asked to sing at his wife's uncle's funeral claims he had a revelation from God that led him to insult mourners and say that the dead man was damned.

Orlando Bethel said he spoke words that "the Lord revealed to me." Preaching over a microphone at the Greater Pine Grove Baptist Church, he told some 100 mourners they were "fornicators." He said the deceased, Lish Devan Taylor, had gone to hell.

The microphone was abruptly disconnected. Bethel then reached into a gym bag for what apparently was a bullhorn. Some thought he was reaching for a gun. About half the crowd fled, with a few dragging Bethel out a side door.

Taylor, 56, who died of prostate cancer, was eulogized fondly by other ministers before Bethel took the microphone, mourners said.

Moussaoui, 19 hijackers never under surveillance

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Prosecutors said Monday that none of the 19 hijackers was under government surveillance before the Sept. 11 attacks and accused conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui wasn't being watched before his arrest last August.

The declarations were made in papers filed in U.S. District Court in response to allegations from Moussaoui, a 34-year-old French citizen who is the only person under indictment in the United States in connection with the attacks.

Moussaoui, who is acting as his own attorney, has maintained the government knows he had nothing to do with the attacks because federal officials had him under surveillance since his residence in London was raided by British authorities several years ago.

Michigan mom charged in heat deaths of children

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -- A mother accused of leaving her children to die inside her sweltering car while she went to have her hair done has been charged with first-degree murder.

Tarajee Maynor, 25, of Detroit, remained jailed without bond early Monday. She faces life in prison without parole if convicted.

Acacia D. Maynor, 10 months, and Adonnis D. Maynor, 3 years, died Friday after being left alone in her black compact car for more than three hours, police said.

-- From wire reports

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