World & Nation in 60 Seconds the Nation the World

Article excerpt

Two close calls for controller:

WASHINGTON -- Robert Beck, An air traffic controller with Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport who nearly caused a midair collision last year, has again been relieved of duty after putting two planes on converging courses. On Feb. 29 a colleague noticed Beck had put a C-130 transport plane on a direct path with a Homeland Security turboprop.

Retiring from prognostications:

SAN FRANCISCO -- Harold Camping, a 90-year-old California preacher who convinced thousands of followers that the world would end, has posted an online letter conceding he has no evidence of an impending apocalypse and will no longer predict global doom.

Suit cites phone snooping:

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Employees at a U.S. Cellular store in Iowa routinely searched customers' phones for naked pictures without their knowledge and eagerly showed them to colleagues when found, according to former worker Lisa Blazek's sexual harassment lawsuit.

Firefighting jobs lure women:

NEW YORK -- Officials say a record number of women has signed up to take New York City's firefighter test. The Fire Department of New York says 3,481 women signed up for the entrance exam beginning next week. About 1,400 signed up in 2007. There are only 24 female uniformed firefighters in the 11,000-member department.

Texas denied health funds:

HOUSTON -- The federal government will stop funding a Texas health program that serves 130,000 low-income women because of a state law that bars abortion-affiliated clinics from getting public money. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Friday that she plans to tell Texas that a waiver allowing the funding won't be extended. Federal funds cover 90 percent of the $40 million program.

Florida to drug test workers:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida lawmakers have passed the nation's first law allowing state agencies to randomly drug test employees. Gov. Rick Scott is expected to sign the law. Florida would be the first state to test workers without a specific suspicion in individual cases, according to the National Association of State Personnel Executives.

Charged in threats to Congress:

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Christopher Lee Carlson, 39, has been arrested in connection with threatening letters containing a suspicious powdery substance that were sent to members of Congress. Authorities say Carlson faces charges related to the mailing of a threatening communication and threatened use of a biological weapon. …