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This item originally appeared in the April 28, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.

World's largest passenger plane lands safely after maiden flight

The world's largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, has landed safely in Toulouse, France, after making its first test flight, according to

The "superjumbo," double-decker jet touched down Wednesday morning after nearly four-hours in the sky with six crew members aboard.

"The takeoff was absolutely perfect," chief test pilot Jacques Rosay told reporters by radio as he flew at 10,000 feet just north of the Pyrenees mountains, about an hour into the flight.

Around 30,000 onlookers, some of whom were invited, some who weren't, applauded as the blue-and-white jet touched down, just as they did when it lifted off.

President Jacques Chirac hailed the "total success of the first test flight of the A380," according to CNN.

Iraqi national assembly member assassinated on Wednesday

A female member of the Iraqi national assembly was assassinated Wednesday in eastern Baghdad, according to

Lamee'a Abd Khidawi, who was a member of outgoing interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's legislative bloc, was shot to death after answering the door at her home, police said.

There is no clear procedure to fill a vacant National Assembly seat as of yet.

She was the first national assembly member killed since the January 30 elections. Wednesday, no one had claimed responsibility.

NFL makes new steroid policy; players now subject to six tests

The NFL made a new steroid policy on the eve of Wednesday's hearing before congressmen, tripling the number of off-season steroid tests a player can face.

Players now will be subject to a maximum of six random drug tests during each offseason, up from two, NFL spokesman Joe Browne said Tuesday.

The committee which subpoenaed baseball stars and officials to testify almost a year ago, the House Government Reform Committee are working with Sen. John McCain to make laws to establish standard steroid policies for all U.S. professional sports.

"In calling for uniform standards, it will address all elements of a testing program. It will address frequency of testing, it will address a list of substances tested for, and it will address penalties," David Marin, spokesman for committee chairman Tom Davis of Virginia, said Tuesday.

Two men suffer heart attacks while hunting turkeys Monday

Monday morning in Washington, two men died of heart attacks while hunting turkeys.

According to, the men were hunting south of East Wenatchee when 70-year-old Alfred Hurd got out of the pickup truck to chase a turkey down an embankment.

Sources say 78-year-old Elmer Sapp followed his friend down the embankment, where he found Hurd lying on the ground.

Sapp climbed back up the embankment and flagged down a motorist for assistance.

After explaining what happened to the motorist, Sapp also collapsed.

Sapp's son said his father suffered heart problems for many years. Autopsies were performed on both men.

Jackson's ex-wife set to testify in child molestation trials

Pop icon Michael Jackson's ex-wife is scheduled to testify in the on-going child molestation trials.

According to, Debbie Rowe's testimony is unlikely to delve into the details of her three-year marriage with Jackson. The judge decided Monday that Rowe could testify, though her statements will be restricted to the issues at hand and not to other aspects of their relationship.

Prosecutors expect Rowe to support the testimony of the mother of Jackson's teenage accuser, who claimed to participate in a "scripted interview" in 2003 for fear of losing her children.

Rowe gave a similar testimony defending Jackson around that same time.

Woman births quintuplet boys, declines $15,000 surrogate fee

An Arizona woman gave birth to quintuplet boys morning, after a 33-week pregnancy.

Teresa Anderson gave birth to all five boys in just five minutes, according to Anderson carried the children for a childless couple she met on the Internet, but developed such a close bond with them she declined to accept the $15,000 fee she originally planned to charge.

All of the babies were less than four pounds, and four of the boys will be able to join their new parents in about three weeks.

The fourth-born will remain hospitalized until he can undergo surgery for his underdeveloped heart.

Enrique Moreno, genetic father of the children, said he and his wife were always looking for one child, but since there were five, "it [was] for a reason."

Political commentator to open Web site with celebrity blogs

A news and opinion Web site will be launched May 9 featuring blogs by more than 250 celebrities or political leaders.

According to, Arianna Huffington, a political commentator and a one-time candidate for California governor, and Ken Lerer, a former executive vice president of AOL Time Warner, have joined forces to create a Web site that will include the personal journals of people like Walter Cronkite, director Rob Reiner and actor John Cusack on topics like religion, sports and entertainment.

"It will be people's voices, including people's spelling mistakes and idiosyncratic punctuation," Huffington told The Associated Press Monday. "Authenticity always draws people."

Michigan teen charged as adult in stabbing death of mother

A 15-year-old from Rochester Hills, Michigan, was charged as an adult for the stabbing death of his mother.

Christopher Dankovich allegedly stabbed his mother, Michele Dankovich, 111 times in their home where she was found Monday by the boy's grandmother.

According to, Michele Dankovich had recently discovered that her son was using the Internet to look at pornography and learn how to make weapons.

Mitchell Ribitwer, the lawyer for the defense, said he will likely ask for a psychiatric examination for his client.

Judge Nancy Carniak scheduled a preliminary hearing for May 17 and ordered the teen to be held without bond.

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