Chinese flight crew rewarded BEIJING – Chinese state media say an airline has awarded cash and apartments worth millions of dollars to a crew that foiled a hijack attempt last month. Six Uighur men were arrested for the alleged attempt in China’s far west Xinjiang region on June 29. Two later died from injuries sustained while fighting the crew and passengers.
Xinhua News Agency reported that Hainan Airlines, the parent company of the flight operator, awarded nine crew members with either $159 000 (about N$1.3 million) in cash, an apartment worth $318 000 (about N$2.6 million) and/or a car.
State media say the crew also received cash from local governments and China’s aviation administration.
US church to bless gay marriage
INDIANAPOLIS – The US Episcopal Church is poised to become the first major religious denomination in the US to approve a rite for blessing gay marriages after its bishops overwhelmingly approved such a liturgy on Monday.
The proposed blessing was agreed by the church’s Chamber of Bishops at a meeting in Indianapolis and is expected to receive final approval from its House of Deputies later this week, said Ruth Meyers, a chair of the Episcopalians’ Subcommittee on Prayer Book, Liturgy and Church Music.
The decision would go into effect in December and make the Episcopal Church, an independent US-based institution affiliated with global Anglicanism, the biggest US church to allow a liturgy for same-sex marriages.
The Episcopal Church is the 14th-largest denomination in the US with nearly two million adherents, according to the National Council of Churches.
Chavez says he is cancer-free
CARACAS – Firebrand Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez insisted on Monday that he is “totally” cancer-free and ready to take on what promises to be a tough re-election battle without “physical restrictions”.
“Free, totally free,” he replied when asked by a reporter if he had beaten the disease, as he gears up for the bruising campaign against unified opposition rival Henrique Capriles ahead of the October 7 vote.
A little more than a year after revealing his cancer diagnosis, Chavez said he had worked “with a lot of discipline” in order to overcome the disease, adding that his last radiation treatment was two months ago.
Chavez has undergone surgery twice since June 2011 to remove cancerous tumours from his pelvis. The exact location and nature of the cancer has never been revealed.