United Airlines is getting its 787s back in the air.
The planes are returning after being grounded for four months by the federal government because of smoldering batteries on 787s owned by other airlines. The incidents included an emergency landing of one plane, and a fire on another.
The incidents never caused any serious injuries. But the January grounding embarrassed Boeing, which makes the 787, and disrupted schedules at the eight airlines that were flying the planes. The company had delivered 50 of the planes worldwide.
The grounding forced United to delay planned international flights and hurt its first-quarter earnings by $11 million. Others, including Japan Airlines and South America's LATAM Airlines Group, also said profits were reduced. LATAM said it still had to make payments on the plane and pay for crews and maintenance. It expects to resume flying soon.
United's first 787 flight was scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday from Houston to Chicago.
Passengers didn't appear to be too worried. "We saw strong demand for the flight from the first weekend it opened for sale," United spokeswoman Christen David said.
United is planning to use 787s on shorter domestic flights before resuming international flights on June 10 with new Denver-to-Tokyo service as well as temporary Houston-to-London flights. It's adding flights to Tokyo, Shanghai, and Lagos, Nigeria, in August.
Those long international flights are the main reason the 787 exists. Its medium size and fuel efficiency are a good fit for long routes. Starting with shorter domestic flights "will give us a period to ramp up full 787 operations," David said.
United Continental Holdings Inc. was the first U.S. airline to get the 787 and now has six. United has said it expects to have four fixed by Monday, with the other two getting their batteries modified in coming days.
The 787 uses more electricity than any other jet. And it makes more use of lithium-ion batteries than any other jet, because it needs to be able to provide power for things like flight controls and a backup generator when its engines are shut down. Each 787 has two of the batteries.
Boeing Co. never did figure out the root cause of the battery incidents. Instead, it redesigned the battery and its charger. The idea was to eliminate all of the possible causes, 787 chief engineer Mike Sinnett said in an online chat on Thursday where he and a Boeing test pilot took questions about the plane.
The changes include more heat insulation between each cell and charging the battery to a lower maximum voltage.
Former Navy Secretary Richard J. Danzig, who has served as a bio-warfare adviser to the president, the Pentagon, and the Department of Homeland Security, urged the government to stockpile an anti-anthrax drug while serving as a director for the company that supplied it, according to a report published Sunday.
While there is no evidence any nation or terrorist group has achieved it, Danzig warned for a decade that terrorists could easily engineer a strain of anthrax resistant to common antibiotics that could be a devastating threat to national security, according to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/12K6Rxh ).
Danzig successfully suggested stockpiling a drug known as raxibacumab, or "raxi," to guard against the potential threat, and biotech startup Human Genome Sciences Inc. has won $334 million in federal contracts since 2006 to supply the drug that now goes for $5,100 a dose.
At the same time, Danzig was a director for the company, earning more than $1 million in company compensation between 2001 and 2012. It was the first product the company sold and the U.S. government remains the only buyer. The Rockville, Md.-based company was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in August for $3.6 billion.
Several officials who attended seminars led by Danzig said they had no knowledge of his ties to Human Genome Sciences.
"Holy smoke — that was a horrible conflict of interest," said Dr. Philip K. Russell, a physician, retired major-general and biodefense official in the George W. Bush administration.
Federal law bars U.S. officials, including advisers and consultants, from giving counsel on matters in which they have a financial interest.
Danzig said there was no conflict of interest, and that he sought only to inform officials of the danger, not to lobby for the purchase of raxibacumab.
"My view was I'm not going to get involved in selling that," Danzig told the Times in an interview. "But at the same time now, should I not say what I think is right in the government circles with regard to this?"
Danzig added, "I feel that I've acted very properly with regard to this."
Danzig, 68, who served as Navy secretary in the Clinton administration and has since worked as a consultant, began warning about antibiotic-resistant anthrax in the wake of five deaths from anthrax-laced letters that came soon after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The anthrax in the letters was not resistant to antibiotics, but Danzig was soon warning of the possibility of a deadlier form of the germ, saying his interest in the subject came from "people whose technical skills exceed mine."
The Times investigation found seven papers Danzig had written on bioterrorism since 2001, and in only one did he disclose his ties to Human Genome Sciences.
Two men have been arrested in the killing of a teenage boy over an iPad in Las Vegas, police said Sunday.
Jacob Dismont, 18, and Michael Solid, 21, were booked Saturday into the Clark County jail on charges of open murder, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.
According to investigators, Marcos Arenas, 15, was walking down a street with the iPad on Thursday when a passenger got out of a vehicle and tried to steal the device from him.
Dismont is accused of trying to wrest the tablet away and dragging Arenas toward the SUV when the youth wouldn't let go of the device. After Dismont re-entered the vehicle and Solid sped away, the teen was dragged until he fell. The vehicle ran over Arenas and he died at a hospital.
"I think both the public and police department share the same sentiment that this was a senseless act of violence," police spokesman Bill Cassell told The Associated Press.
The suspects succeeded in making off with the device, officers said.
Ivan Arenas said he bought the iPad for his son less than two months ago. The family has never had a lot, the father said, and his son valued everything he had.
"For him to lose his life over an iPad, it's just not fair," Ivan Arenas told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "Never in my life would I imagine that me buying my kid an iPad for his birthday would end up with him getting run over."
Similar thefts of iPads, IPhones and other Apple devices have become so widespread nationwide that the crime has earned the nickname, "Apple picking," Cassell said.
"This is a nationwide phenomenon where thieves are targeting individuals who are carrying them," he said.
Police urge victims of such crimes to always let go of the devices.
The latest high-stakes court hearing for O.J. Simpson in the glitzy capital of big gambles has come to a close with the former football star's defense team feeling confident that their client is closer to getting out of prison.
The last time Simpson was in a Las Vegas courtroom, he was convicted of kidnapping and armed robbery. Now, with a new team of attorneys on his side, he has mounted a cool, methodical case that his former lead lawyer botched the 2008 trial so badly that a new one should be granted.
"He has a very good chance now," said Ozzie Fumo, one of the attorneys who represented Simpson. "I don't think the state was able to counter any of our issues."
Simpson's lawyers presented evidence that showed Miami-based attorney Yale Galanter shared responsibility for the ill-conceived plan for the NFL Hall of Famer and former Hollywood star to take back personal items and mementos from two sports collectible dealers in a Vegas hotel room. They also built a case that he deliberately sabotaged Simpson's chances for acquittal and appeal to protect himself and his own self-interests.
When the weeklong hearing ended Friday there seemed to be little doubt that major mistakes were made when Simpson was sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison on 12 criminal counts. The real question is whether enough was done to meet the high standard needed for District Court Judge Linda Marie Bell to free Simpson from state prison and grant him a new trial.
The final witness she heard from was Galanter, who defended his actions in a tense courtroom standoff with Simpson and his new representatives Friday.
As Simpson's legal team worked to portray Galanter as hungry for the money and fame that could come from an O.J. trial, the lawyer said it was Simpson who agreed to spend more than a half a million dollars on his defense, turned down a plea bargain and decided not to testify.
"I felt a genuine fondness for O.J. and was devastated when he lost," Galanter said.
However, when Simpson testified Wednesday, he recounted his hotel room confrontation with memorabilia dealers, and his interactions with the lawyer he blamed for his conviction.
He said he trusted Galanter based a long professional relationship. "He was my guy," Simpson said.
He said Galanter made no mention of a plea deal and advised him not to testify in his own defense when other lawyers said it would help.
Galanter, when he was on the stand, said Simpson brought "too much baggage" to testify given his 1995 acquittal in the murders of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. Following the "trial of the century" Simpson was ordered to pay $33.5 million when he was found liable for the killings in civil court.
Galanter also testified that Simpson confided to him that he had asked two men to bring guns to the hotel room in September 2007, and Simpson "knew he screwed up."
Simpson lawyer Fumo, however, said that claim wasn't credible.
"Galanter tried to throw O.J. under the bus, but it was inconsistent with the entire defense he presented," Fumo said. At trial Galanter had said Simpson never ordered guns to be carried and didn't see firearms in the room.
Simpson's lawyers have a high legal burden to prove their case under a writ of habeas corpus, which relies on showing not only that his lawyer's work was ineffective but that if he had acted differently it would have changed the outcome.
But there is another key issue conflict of interest.
"An actual conflict is a violation of the right to counsel," said Jennifer Carr, a criminal law professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas."
If Simpson "can succeed in showing that there has been an actual conflict, he need not show that that conflict caused the verdict. Merely showing the conflict is sufficient to show his right to counsel was violated," Carr said.
Simpson's testimony was pivotal on this point. Even with his hair gray and thinning, and his finely chiseled features lost under the burden of years and weight, the 65-year-old Simpson was an impressive witness.
He was still O.J. Simpson, a man used to the spotlight. He shuffled to the witness stand in shackles but spoke with confidence. He told of dining with Galanter the night before the hotel caper and telling him the plan.
"I talked to Yale about it two or three times," Simpson said. "The overall advice he was giving was, 'You have a right to get your stuff.'"
Galanter told a different story.
"He said he and some of his boys might be doing a sting in the morning," said Galanter.
He added that Simpson said, "he finally had a lead on some personal pictures and memorabilia that was stolen from him years earlier. I said, 'O.J., you've got to call the police.'"
As it turned out, someone called the police but it wasn't Simpson. The memorabilia dealers claimed they were robbed at gunpoint. Simpson was arrested.
"It obviously didn't go the way I hoped it would," Simpson said with a touch of irony.
Las Vegas lawyers Gabriel Grasso and Malcolm LaVergne, who also participated in the case, testified that Galanter had a conflict because he could have been called as a witness. There was a trail of phone calls between Simpson and Galanter before and after the Sept. 13, 2007 confrontation.
Other points raised by Simpson's team included Galanter's failure to hire investigators or experts and never interviewing witnesses against Simpson because, "We already knew a lot about them."
A key criticism was Galanter's refusal to hire experts to analyze audio recordings from the hotel incident, telling a colleague they were "operating on a shoestring" while demanding more money from Simpson's business manager. He also refused to challenge admissibility of the tapes, insisting they would help Simpson.
Jurors said they convicted Simpson solely on the basis of the tapes because they found the witnesses not credible.
When the hearing ended, the judge said would issue a written ruling but did not set a date.
If Simpson succeeds in getting his conviction thrown out, prosecutors will have to either retry him or offer a plea bargain. It is also possible Simpson could be freed with credit for time served. If he loses, he will be sent back to prison and will probably appeal to a higher court.
He will be 70 before he is eligible for parole.
A police officer who was conducting a DUI stop on a vehicle in Phoenix died after another vehicle struck him and then fled the scene.
Authorities said late Sunday afternoon that police in Surprise located the SUV that struck 29-year-old Officer Daryl Raetz around 3:30 a.m. Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said investigators are working to identify the driver.
The hit-and-run collision happened as Raetz was standing in the roadway and was wrapping up the DUI stop.
Raetz later died at a hospital.
Raetz was an Iraq war veteran and worked as a Phoenix police officer for six years. He is survived by a wife and young daughter.
Phoenix officials also are mourning a 23-year-old firefighter who was critically injured Saturday while fighting a mulch fire and died Sunday morning.
In a commencement address at Atlanta's historically black Morehouse College, President Obama said graduates should "find time to defend the powerless."
The president said his own success was due to "the special obligation I felt, as a black man like you, to help those who need it most, people who didn't have the opportunities that I had — because there but for the grace of God, go I. I might have been in their shoes. I might have been in prison. I might have been unemployed."
In New Jersey, Rutgers University graduated the largest class in school history — an estimated 14,302 students.
At New York's Hofstra University, students wore white ribbons at their graduation ceremony in honor of Andrea Rebello, one of their colleagues killed by a gunshot early Friday morning. A police officer accidentally killed 21-year-old Rebello as an armed intruder held her in a headlock.
Here are some images from college commencements across the nation:
Authorities say tornadoes have touched down in Wichita, Kan., and a suburb of Oklahoma City but there are no immediate reports of injuries or significant damage.
Sedgwick County, Kan., emergency management director Randy Duncan says officials are "very grateful" about the few reports of damage from the tornado that touched down near Wichita Mid-Continent Airport shortly before 4 p.m. CDT Sunday.
A tornado also reportedly grazed the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond before heading toward a sparsely populated area. There were reports of debris but no injuries or traffic crashes.
The National Weather Service described the tornado as "large, violent and extremely dangerous" and said it was moving northeast at 30 mph.
The tornadoes are part of a large storm system moving through the Plains and upper Midwest.
With a bullet still in his body, the police officer who survived a showdown with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects said Sunday he's determined to return to duty.
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Officer Richard Donahue has been recovering alongside victims injured in the April 15 attack by the marathon's finish line since his transfer to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston on Friday.
The 33-year-old uses crutches to get around now, and is coping with nerve damage that makes it painful to walk and difficult to sleep. But sitting alongside his wife Kim Donahue, the transit officer said he's getting stronger and healthier every day.
Besides building strength to walk on his own, Donahue also is doing speech therapy and other exercises to prepare his mind and body to head home again. He said he's looking forward to the end of his hospitalization so he can spend more time with his 7-month-old son, who's gotten four new teeth in the meantime, and toss a ball around with his family's beagle.
Donahue doesn't recall anything about the gun battle that left him wounded on a street in suburban Watertown. His last memory from the day he almost bled to death is roll call at the start of his shift.
That was hours before Donahue responded to the call that came after authorities say bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fatally shot his police academy friend, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Officer Sean Collier.
It was in Watertown that Donahue suffered a severed femoral artery when a bullet pierced his groin during a gun battle with the Tsarnaev brothers.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev died on the same street where Donahue was wounded. Authorities have said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev drove over his brother while fleeing the scene after Tamerlan, 26, ran out of ammunition and was tackled by officers.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev's cause of death was listed as gunshot wounds and blunt trauma to his head and torso.
But Donahue, an MBTA officer of three years, has no memory of the encounter that nearly killed him.
"As of right now, it's all been a blackout," he said.
Exactly how Donahue was wounded isn't clear. He said if his injury turned out to be from a fellow officer's bullet, he was just glad police "got the job done" at a chaotic scene where authorities said the suspects tossed explosives and fired on officers.
"If it was friendly fire, it was friendly fire, he said. "We got the job done and the other suspect got captured shortly thereafter, so I'm just happy with that."
The transit officer said he is in favor of authorities filing additional charges against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in connection with Collier's death and his own close call. But he wouldn't say if he favored the death penalty in the case of a guilty verdict for the 19-year-old, who remains in a prison hospital after his arrest.
"One of them, I guess, has already been brought to justice," Donahue said of Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Donahue's wife said she's proud of her husband, and while they won't use the word "hero" a lot at home, their 7-month-old son will have a lot to live up to as he grows up.
"We keep saying he's not going to be able to get away with anything. Like, 'Oh, you don't want to eat your green beans? Well, Daddy's got a bullet in his leg and came back from the dead. So, if you could do us a favor and just eat your food that would be great,'" the 31-year-old mom said with a smile.
MBTA Police Chief Paul MacMillan nodded in approval Sunday as he heard Donahue talking about getting back into the shape he was before the line of duty shooting.
"I think it's absolutely incredible the effort that was put into saving his life that night and the fact that he has come so far," the chief said later. "... We'd love to get him back, but we want him to get well first and foremost."
The president and chief executive officer of The Associated Press on Sunday called the government's secret seizure of two months of reporters' phone records "unconstitutional" and said the news cooperative had not ruled out legal action against the Justice Department.
Gary Pruitt, in his first television interviews since it was revealed the Justice Department subpoenaed phone records of AP reporters and editors, said the move already has had a chilling effect on journalism. Pruitt said the seizure has made sources less willing to talk to AP journalists and, in the long term, could limit Americans' information from all news outlets.
Pruitt told CBS' "Face the Nation" that the government has no business monitoring the AP's newsgathering activities.
"And if they restrict that apparatus ... the people of the United States will only know what the government wants them to know and that's not what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment," he said.
In a separate interview with the AP, Pruitt said the news cooperative had not decided its next move but had not ruled out legal action against the government.
"It's too early to know if we'll take legal action but I can tell you we are positively displeased and we do feel that our constitutional rights have been violated," he said.
"They've been secretive, they've been overbroad and abusive — so much so that taken together, they are unconstitutional because they violate our First Amendment rights," he added.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the government needs to stop leaks by whatever means necessary.
"This is an investigation that needs to happen because national security leaks, of course, can get our agents overseas killed," he said.
Republican Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said the government should focus on those who leak sensitive national security matters and not on journalists who report on them. The Texas Republican said his committee should hold hearings on how the Justice Department obtained phone records from AP reporters and editors.
"What confuses me is the focus on the press, who have a constitutional right here and we depend on the press to get to the bottom of so many issues that we, as individuals, cannot," Cornyn said.
Cornyn said the Justice Department's actions were part of a pattern for President Barack Obama's administration to quiet its critics.
"It's a culture of cover-ups and intimidation that is giving the administration so much trouble," Cornyn said.
He also renewed his call for Attorney General Eric Holder to resign, citing the contempt citation the House of Representatives voted against him last year for refusing to turn over documents in a failed government gun smuggling sting.
White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said the president "has complete faith in Attorney General Holder." He also insisted the White House was not involved in the decision to seek AP phone records.
"A cardinal rule is we don't get involved in independent investigations. And this is one of those," Pfeiffer said.
Although the Justice Department has not explained why it sought phone records from the AP, Pruitt pointed to a May 7, 2012, story that disclosed details of a successful CIA operation in Yemen to stop an airliner bomb plot around the one-year anniversary of the May 2, 2011, killing of Osama bin Laden.
The AP delayed publication of that story at the request of government officials who said it would jeopardize national security.
"We respected that, we acted responsibly, we held the story," Pruitt said.
Pruitt said that only after officials from two government entities said the threat had passed did the AP publish the story. He said the administration still asked that the story be held until an official announcement the next day, a request the AP rejected.
The news service viewed the story as important because White House and Department of Homeland Security officials were saying publicly there was no credible evidence of a terrorist threat to the U.S. around the one-year anniversary of bin Laden's death.
"So that was misleading to the American public. We felt the American public needed to know this story," Pruitt said.
The AP has seen an effect on its newsgathering since the disclosure of the Justice Department's subpoena, he said.
"Officials that would normally talk to us and people we talk to in the normal course of newsgathering are already saying to us that they're a little reluctant to talk to us," Pruitt said. "They fear that they will be monitored by the government."
The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of personal and work telephone records for several reporters and editors, as well as general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery.
"It was sweeping and broad and beyond what they needed to do," Pruitt said.
He objected to the "Justice Department acting on its own being the judge, jury and executioner in secret," saying the AP would not back down.
"We're not going to be intimidated by the abusive tactics of the Justice Department," he said.
McConnell and Pfeiffer were interviewed on NBC's "Meet the Press." Cornyn appeared on "Face the Nation."
The man who police say hurled homophobic slurs at a gay man on a Manhattan street before firing a single fatal shot to his head has been charged with murder as a hate crime.
Elliot Morales appeared Sunday in Manhattan Criminal Court. He also was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and menacing.
Authorities say Morales used a revolver to kill 32-year-old Mark Carson early Saturday as he walked with a companion in Greenwich (GREN'-ich) Village.
Ben Petok, a spokesman for the Manhattan district attorney, says no plea was recorded for Morales. He's being held without bail. His next court appearance is Thursday.
On Saturday, in the lively Village streets, police say Morales followed Carson and a companion and asked if they wanted to die seconds before opening fire.