Nation, World Briefs: Philadelphia transit negotiations continue

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia transit system’s largest union agreed Saturday not to go on strike as contract talks continued before the start of Game 3 of the World Series, Pennsylvania’s governor and the city’s mayor said. Gov. Ed Rendell and Mayor Michael Nutter said late Sat

urday that a 6 p.m. strike deadline would pass with no walkout by the union representing more than 5,000 bus drivers, subway and trolley operators and mechanics of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. Rendell said there had been “substantial progress.” The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees are scheduled to play the fourth and fifth games of the Series today and Monday in Philadelphia.

Minnesota: 757 hits pigeons

A Northwest Airlines flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas has landed safely after hitting a flock of pigeons shortly after takeoff. No one was hurt. A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, said the plane hit about 15 pigeons about 2:40 p.m. today while departing from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. She said it landed safely back in Minneapolis. A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said the Boeing 757 suffered damage to its nose dome.

Spokane pastor selected

The Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota says the Rev. Brian Prior has been elected its next bishop. He was chosen Saturday over four other candidates, one of whom would have been only the second openly gay bishop of the Episcopal Church if she were chosen. Prior has been the rector of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Spokane since 1996. He said in a statement he was “overwhelmed and blessed.”

New Hampshire: Hunt glitch

A deer hunter has accidentally shot himself in the hand while trying to lift his loaded rifle into a tree stand using a rope tied around the weapon. A conservation officer said a branch or stick apparently got stuck in the trigger of Robert Lapointe’s .50-caliber muzzleloader, setting it off at around 1:45 p.m. Saturday. A Fish and Game said Lapointe, 63, is expected to survive, but “shouldn’t have been doing what he did.”

Philippines: Ransom demand

Captors of a 79-year old Irish missionary kidnapped in the southern Philippines have released a video in which the priest says his abductors are demanding $2 million to release him. The video was obtained by government negotiators and broadcast on GMA television network in Manila Saturday. It shows the Rev. Michael Sinnott holding a copy of the Oct. 22 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper. That was 11 days after his abduction. It remains unclear who is holding Sinnott.

Britain: 777 passengers faint

Six people fainted on board a British Airways flight from Newark Liberty Airport to London’s Heathrow Saturday, prompting emergency crews to check the plane for hazardous materials. Police said nothing suspicious was found on board after the jet was searched by emergency teams in protective gear. Ambulance personnel said the six people were treated on board the plane and allowed to continue travel. No one required hospitalization, they said. The Boeing 777 aircraft carried 216 passengers and 14 crew.

Russia: New French warship

Moscow plans to buy a French amphibious assault ship, the first such purchase from a NATO country, as the Kremlin seeks to reaffirm Russia’s global reach, a Russian news agency reported Saturday. The Defense Ministry also plans to license the production of four more ships of the Mistral class in Russia under the guidance of French engineers, navy Admiral Oleg Burtsev said. A Mistral ship is capable of carrying more than a dozen helicopters along with dozens of tanks and other armored vehicles and is fit for missions intended to project Russian naval power to distant areas.

Denmark: Ship passes bridge

The world’s largest cruise ship cleared a crucial obstacle today, lowering its smokestacks to squeeze under a bridge in Denmark. The Oasis of the Seas — which rises about 20 stories high — passed below the Great Belt Fixed Link with a slim margin as it left the Baltic Sea on its maiden voyage to Florida. Bridge operators said that even after lowering its telescopic smokestacks the giant ship had less than a 2-foot gap. It was built by STX Finland for Royal Caribbean International.

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