April 1, 2007 in Nation/World

Nation in brief: Bus collision kills 1, injures 20

The Spokesman-Review

A car going the wrong way on a divided highway collided head-on with a Greyhound bus early Saturday, killing the driver of the car and injuring 20 others, police said. Passengers crawled out the bus’ windows after the crash.

The bus driver had tried to evade the oncoming car, police and a passenger said. Heather Marie Thomas, 23, was driving southbound in a northbound lane of Interstate 85, police Lt. Mark Drinkard said. Police said they did not know why the car was in the wrong lane or whether alcohol was involved.

After the crash, panic erupted in the bus because the door was jammed shut and the car was smoking, raising a threat of fire, passenger Clint Cannon said.

Police Maj. David Warren said the bus driver prevented the accident from being worse. “The bus driver did an excellent job, not letting the bus turn over,” he said.


Flight attendant arrested for gun

A uniformed flight attendant was arrested at Dulles International Airport after she turned herself in for allegedly carrying a concealed handgun aboard a flight from Atlanta, authorities said Saturday.

The Transportation Security Administration, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies were investigating if the woman had gone through security and whether the gun passed through a checkpoint unnoticed in Atlanta, TSA spokesman Barry Phelps said.

Janet Tucker, 45, of Lithonia, Ga., turned herself in Friday for carrying the weapon on United Flight 7591, said Rob Yingling, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. She was in uniform but was not part of the duty crew at the time, he said.

“It seems it was an inadvertent incident, from her description,” he said.


Gingrich criticizes bilingual learning

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich equated bilingual education Saturday with “the language of living in a ghetto” and mocked requirements that ballots be printed in multiple languages.

“The government should quit mandating that various documents be printed in any one of 700 languages depending on who randomly shows up” to vote, said Gingrich, who is considering seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. He made the comments in a speech to the National Federation of Republican Women.

Peter Zamora, co-chair of the Washington-based Hispanic Education Coalition, which supports bilingual education, said, “The tone of his comments was very hateful. Spanish is spoken by many individuals who do not live in the ghetto.”

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