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American Eagle, a subsidiary of American Airlines, grounded all 41 ATR commuter airplanes at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Saturday, a day after the government banned the turboprop aircraft from flying in icy weather. The temporary shutdown of operations affects thousands of travelers across the United States, since Chicago is the hub for departures and arrivals from throughout the Midwest. St. Louis-based TW Express, a subsidiary of Trans World Airlines, said it had grounded ATR turboprops serving nine US cities. The Federal Aviation Administration banned ATRs from flying in icy weather after wind-tunnel tests by the plane's France-based manufacturer found that control of the plane could be lost in certain foul-weather conditions.

Costly cancellation

A federal court decision involving the canceled A-12 Avenger attack jet could cost the Pentagon as much as $1.6 billion to cover losses to the aircraft's two manufacturers and subcontractors. The US Court of Claims concluded that the Pentagon contract with McDonnell Douglas Corporation and General Dynamics Corporation should not have been canceled ''for default'' -- meaning the manufacturer was to blame, as the Pentagon has argued.

Peace prize winners confer

Their Nobel Prize ceremonies behind them, the key figures in the Middle East peace process got back to work early yesterday, seeking to overcome serious obstacles to the peace process. PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat met for 1-1/2 hours in an Oslo hotel with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.

Ford Foundation switch

The Ford Foundation is replacing its first black president, who is retiring, with its first woman president. Susan Berresford will assume the position in March 1996, when Franklin Thomas steps aside after 17 years, the foundation said Saturday.

Hughes to work at UN

Brigham Young University Prof. John Hughes will take a year-long leave of absence starting in January to direct communications for the United Nations. Mr. Hughes is a former editor of this paper and a Pulitzer Prize winner.

India resignation call

India's ruling Congress Party has rejected opposition demands to resign and call a national election after losing power in three state legislatures. The Congress lost three of four state elections last week.

Airliner blast

An explosion blew a hole in the floor and killed one passenger on a Philippine Airlines jet flying to Tokyo yesterday, officials and witnesses said. The Boeing 747, carrying 292 people, made a safe emergency landing in Okinawa.

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