Nation/World

In brief: ‘Fees’ perceived to be bribes

Alexandria, Va. – A Kentucky businessman testified Wednesday he paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in “consulting fees” to the wife of a former Louisiana congressman that were nothing but thinly veiled bribes.

Vernon Jackson, who ran a Louisville telecommunications firm called iGate Inc., was the first witness to testify in the bribery trial of William Jefferson, a Democrat who represented parts of New Orleans until losing his re-election bid last year.

Jefferson has pleaded not guilty to soliciting bribes, racketeering, money laundering and other crimes.

Airline puts kids on wrong flights

Houston – The parents of two young girls who were each placed on wrong flights while flying alone over the weekend are demanding that Continental Airlines make sure such mix-ups don’t happen again.

Wendy Babineaux criticized the airline Wednesday for “total incompetence and a lack of caring” after her 8-year-old daughter, Taylor Williams, flew out of Houston on Saturday morning and ended up in Fayetteville, Ark. She was supposed to go to Charlotte, N.C., to visit her father.

The next day, 10-year-old Miriam Kamens wound up in Newark, N.J., while flying alone on the same Continental contractor, ExpressJet. She was heading from Boston to Cleveland to see her grandparents.

Continental said that in both cases two flights were departing simultaneously from a single doorway.



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