Hidden monkey on Vegas-bound flight causes stir
LAS VEGAS — Airline officials say they called for help after a passenger was found stowing a monkey in his shirt during a Las Vegas-bound flight.
Frontier Airlines spokesman Richard Oliver says the incident happened Tuesday night on a flight from Columbus, Ohio, to Las Vegas.
Oliver says the passenger broke policy by not informing the airline that he was bringing a service animal onboard, and then refused to turn over documents verifying the monkey's status.
McCarran International Airport spokeswoman Christine Crews says law enforcement officials met up with the plane and determined that the monkey was a certified service animal.
Oliver says the animal was brought surreptitiously onto the plane in a duffel bag and never became loose or uncontained during the flight.
It wasn't immediately clear whether the passenger faces consequences.
Twice lucky: Dubai crash-landing survivor wins $1 million
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — After he escaped unharmed from the burning wreckage of an Emirates airplane that had crash-landed in Dubai, Mohamed Basheer already considered himself lucky.
Then came the call telling him he had won $1 million.
"I said, 'Don't joke!'" the 62-year-old Indian recounted, laughing inside the auto-body repair shop where he works in Dubai. "They said, 'Yes, you are the winner!' I said, 'No!'"
Basheer won Dubai Duty Free's Millennium Millionaire sweepstakes Tuesday with a ticket he purchased July 6, just before he boarded an Emirates flight to head to India's Kerala state and his hometown of Pallickal.
He believes the 1,000-dirham ($270) ticket, No. 845 in Series M222, was his 17th attempt to win the sweepstakes.
Yet perhaps his luckiest numbers were yet to come as he boarded Emirates flight EK521 on Aug. 3 to return to Dubai. Sitting in seat 26G, Basheer said the flight passed normally for the 300 onboard until the Boeing 777-300 attempted to land at Dubai International Airport, the world's busiest international airfield.
The plane hit the runway, bounced and slammed into the ground again. For Basheer, who works at Al Tayer Motors auto body shop as a fleet operations coordinator, it felt like the shuddering stop of a speeding car with anti-lock brakes.
The cabin quickly filled with smoke when the plane came to a halt.
"Nobody knows what's happening," Basheer told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday. "But I'm not scared. ... I was supporting the people and also I saved my life."
He jumped out of the airplane's emergency exit and down the slide, before turning back to see the fire spreading as others fled. He said he saw the explosion that caused the crash's only fatality, an Emirati firefighter responding to the blaze.
But he said he remained in awe that the passengers all escaped.
"That really is a miracle," Basheer said. "Thanks for God and thanks for the pilot."
Police grab man climbing Trump Tower in New York City
NEW YORK — A man spent more than 2½ hours scaling the glass facade of Trump Tower on Wednesday using large suction cups, climbing as high as the 21st floor before police officers grabbed him and hauled him to safety through an open window.
The climber had a backpack and used a harness and rope stirrups to fasten himself to the side of the 58-story Manhattan skyscraper.
Police officers smashed windows and broke through a ventilation duct in an attempt to block his progress. Officers also lowered themselves toward him using a window washer's platform.
For a long time, the climber played a slow-motion cat-and-mouse game with his would-be rescuers, keeping his distance by methodically working his way back and forth across the facade and angled corners of the building. When would-be rescuers smashed a window above him, he ducked to avoid big shards of glass that fell.
The chase ended dramatically just after 6:30 p.m.
As a crowd gasped on the street below, two officers leaning far out of a window frame where the glass was removed grabbed the climber's arm and backpack, and in a flash yanked him from his dangling stirrups. He went through the opening head first, his legs pointed skyward.