Airlines strikes loom
Northwest Airlines pilots stage an informational picket at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Mich. Pilots at Northwest and Delta airlines have until today to make pay-cut deals before they risk losing some of their control over the matter. A bankruptcy judge is set to rule on Northwest's request for permission to impose its own pay cuts and work rules on pilots and flight attendants. And Delta's request to reject its pilot contract will go to arbitrators if a second long-term concessions deal isn't reached. Both unions are threatening strikes if the airlines impose pay cuts unilaterally. Both airlines have said strikes could kill them. As talks continued Tuesday in New York, Northwest pilots appeared closest to the edge of a strike. Two pay cuts have already sliced 39 percent from their wages. More than 92 percent of pilots voted to authorize a strike, the union said Tuesday.
Amid Mardi Gras partying,people remember Katrina
NEW ORLEANS -- One reveler dressed as a sandbag. Others came as maggots. There were costumes fashioned from blue tarps like those used to cover damaged roofs, and a group of people dressed as blind men with T-shirts that read: "Levee Inspectors." New Orleans' first Mardi Gras since Hurricane Katrina evoked wicked satire in the Big Easy on Tuesday, six months after the storm struck the Gulf Coast in a catastrophe that ultimately killed more than 1,300 people. Kevin and Marie Barre of New Orleans wore white coveralls bearing the spray-painted "X" that denotes a home that has been searched for bodies. "It's a reminder. A lot of people who are coming down here don't understand what we've been through," Kevin Barre said. Even amid the typical debauchery there was no escaping reminders of the storm, beginning with the smaller-than-usual crowds along the parade route. Mayor Ray Nagin, wearing a black beret and camouflage uniform, portrayed cigar-chomping Gen. Russell Honore, the military man who led the first big relief convoy into the city.
Fighting resumes at prison
KABUL, Afghanistan -- A spasm of violence broke a fragile truce at Kabul's main prison Tuesday as rioting inmates tried to push down a gate and police fired on them, killing one and wounding three, officials said. Outside the jail, women beat the ground as their children wailed, fearful that loved ones in the facility have been killed in the three-day standoff. At least five inmates have been killed and 41 wounded since the uprising began late Saturday. Police blame some 350 Taliban and Al-Qaida detainees for inciting the riot.
Al-Qaida leader, 4 otherskilled, Saudi officials say
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- The leader of Al-Qaida in Saudi Arabia and two men who helped attack the world's largest oil-processing complex were among five militants killed during police raids in the capital, authorities said Tuesday. The announcement was the first acknowledgment by Saudi authorities that some attackers had escaped after Friday's attack on the Abqaiq facility, which processes about two-thirds of the country's oil for export. Fahd Faraaj al-Juwair, the kingdom's most-wanted terror suspect, and two militants who attacked the Abqaiq facility, died in a Monday shootout, the Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
High court rules in favorof abortion protesters
WASHINGTON -- A 20-year-old legal fight over protests outside abortion clinics ended Tuesday with the Supreme Court ruling that federal extortion and racketeering laws cannot be used against demonstrators. The 8-0 decision was a setback for abortion clinics that were buoyed when the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals kept their case alive two years ago despite the high court's 2003 ruling that had cleared the way for lifting a nationwide injunction on anti-abortion leader Joseph Scheidler and others. Anti-abortion groups appealed to the justices after the lower court sought to determine whether the injunction could be supported by findings that protesters had made threats of violence.
Associated Press

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