Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Morning Briefs

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Morning Briefs

Article excerpt

MIRACLE TO EMBARK TODAY ON FINAL JACKSONVILLE VOYAGE

The Carnival Miracle sets sail on its final passenger voyage from Jacksonville today, leaving at about 4 p.m. from the JaxPort Cruise Terminal off Heckscher Drive on a six-day cruise to the Bahamas and Mexico. It will return at about 8 a.m. Friday. The 2,108-passenger ship will then sail to Baltimore, where, along with New York City, it will be based from during the summer. Beginning in November, it will be based in Tampa.

The Miracle's inaugural passenger voyage began in Jacksonville on Feb. 27, with former Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch christening the ship.

INSPECTOR GENERAL QUESTIONS BOEING PLANE UPGRADE DEAL

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon's inspector general found that officials followed improper procedures in 2001 and 2002 in negotiating the price of a $1.32 billion contract with Boeing Co. to upgrade some NATO radar aircraft.

As a result, it is unclear whether the price tag is reasonable, the inspector general said in a report released this week.

Boeing said it would renegotiate the deal. Pentagon officials said they expected a lower price.

In 2001 and 2002, the U.S. military's senior negotiator with Boeing was Darleen Druyun, then the principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition and management. The final price was agreed upon Sept. 26, 2002, according to the inspector general's report.

In fall 2002, Druyun was also allegedly in negotiations with Boeing's chief financial officer, Mike Sears, for a job, and was reviewing a proposal for a multibillion-dollar air tanker-leasing contract between the company and the Air Force, a matter under separate investigation.

U.S. OFFICIALS OPTIMISTIC ON ENDING BEEF, POULTRY BANS

WASHINGTON -- The United States is making headway in lifting the bans that some of its leading customers have imposed on U. …

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