USA

Major weekend travel disruptions at US Airways and Comair, a regional carrier of Delta Air Lines, will be the focus of an investigation ordered Monday by Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. The probe of computer and staffing problems will be the first step in an industry-wide review of customer service, according to The Washington Post. US Airways was forced to cancel hundreds of flights and strand thousands of passengers, many left without their luggage, after an unusually high number of flight attendants and baggage handlers failed to report for work. Union leaders at the airline have denied that workers may have staged a sickout to protest pay cuts at the bankrupt carrier. Comair, which grounded 1,100 flights on Saturday after a computer crash, said it expected a return to full service by Wednesday.

Although deadly tsunamis, such as those that struck southern and easternt Asia on Sunday, are more commonly associated with Asia and the Pacific Rim, scientists warn of the potential for Atlantic Ocean tsunamis, the Baltimore Sun said Monday. The story cites a report by reseachers at the University College London that says the tsunami hazard along the margins of the Atlantic Ocean may be "severely underestimated." At least nine giant waves have hit the East Coast or Caribbean since the 18th century, most recently in 1929, according to one meteorolgist. Meanwhile, the US responded to the Indian Ocean tragedy by sending government specialists in disaster relief to the region and making a pledge of $35 million in aid. Eleven American deaths have been confirmed in the catastrophe.

Major tax-code reform, once a Bush administration objective by the end of 2005, is not likely to receive serious attention until 2006, according to White House economists and advisers cited by The Washington Post Tuesday. Work on overhauling Social Security and a budget plan are seen as taking precedence over efforts at creating a single flat income-tax rate or a national sales tax, the Post's sources say.

Maj. Cathy Kaus, a former Ohio Army Reserve commander who was court-martialed for taking abandoned Army vehicles in Kuwait so her unit could deliver fuel in Iraq, was greeted at the Dayton, Ohio, airport Monday after spending six months in a Navy brig in San Diego. Kaus, a 28-year military veteran, said she'd "do it all over again" if put in the same circumstances and said she wants to stay in the service. Senators Mike DeWine (R) of Ohio and Dick Durbin (D) of Illinois have asked for clemency of Kaus and five other Ohio reservists court-martialed for stripping parts from trucks left by other units that had already moved into Iraq.

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