Russian plane makes emergency landing
prague, Czech Republic
A Russian Aeroflot airliner made an unscheduled landing at Prague's Ruzyne international airport yesterday after an apparent hijacking attempt, police said. A passenger aboard was detained by police.
The Airbus A320 flying from Moscow to Geneva, landed in Prague shortly before 11 a.m. (local time), airport spokeswoman Pavlina Hajkova said.
Hantak said the man had been threatening the crew of the plane but did not elaborate on what sort of threats were made.
Deputy director of Aeroflot, Lev Koshlyakov, told Rossiya television, "One of the passengers said he had an explosive device."
Jan Subert, a spokesman for the Czech counterintelligence service, the BIS, said that terrorism apparently was not involved.
Oil cleanup begins
A ruptured offshore pipeline that spilled 160,875 liters of oil into the Gulf of Mexico continued leaking Wednesday at a rate of about 1,892 liters a day as crews began the cleanup, officials said.
The spill happened early Sunday. Pipeline owner Plains All American Pipeline shut down the line after detecting a pressure loss in the system, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Mario Romero said. The cause of the rupture is under investigation.
By Wednesday, the spill had spread to a light sheen 7.5 kilometers long and 73 meters at its widest spot, Romero said.
The spill's size is significant, but environmental damage could be minimal because the crude oil is a relatively light grade that disperses more easily, is far from land and should get pushed away from the shore by the wind and tide, said Greg Pollock, deputy commissioner of the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Program in the Texas General Land Office.
Healthy theme parks
UNIVERSAL CITY, California
The early reviews are mostly positive at the Universal Studios theme park in Hollywood, where the menu changed on Christmas Eve to cut unhealthy trans fats from many junk food favorites.
Universal Parks & Resorts, home to movie-inspired thrill rides, is the latest theme park operation to ban artery-clogging trans fats and offer healthier menus at its three domestic attractions in California and Florida. The action follows entertainment giant Walt Disney Co., which announced in October it will serve more nutritious kids' meals and phase out the artificial fats at its resorts.
Last week, more than 90 percent of foods at Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure in Florida and Universal Hollywood were cooked with trans fat-free oils.
New York's 44 million
NEW YORK, New York
Officials predicted Wednesday that 44 million people will have visited New York City by the end of 2006, including some 1.25 million people this week alone.
The number surpasses last year's record total of 42.6 million and continues a crescendo of recovery since the tourism industry took a hit after the September 11 attacks.
Tourism is said to support nearly 350,000 jobs and generate US$24 billion annually for New York, which is why Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pushing to attract millions more tourists. He hopes for New York to draw 50 million annual visitors by 2015.