FCC may lift ban on cell use on airlines

NEW YORK (AP) — Airline passengers have already been stripped of their legroom, hot meals and personal space. Now, they might also lose their silence.

The Federal Communications Commission is considering lifting its longtime prohibition on making cellphone calls on airplanes, saying it is time “to review our outdated and restrictive rules.”

But for many passengers, that would mean the elimination of one of the last sanctuaries from our hyperconnected world. Everybody wants the ability to stay connected while traveling, but nobody wants to be trapped next to some guy yapping away during the entire trip from New York to Las Vegas.

Amtrak and many local commuter railways have created quiet cars for those who don’t want to be trapped next to a loud talker. It’s not hard to envision airlines offering “quiet rows,” although there will probably be an extra fee to sit there.

NH journalist missing in Syria for a year

ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — It’s now been a year since an American journalist went missing in Syria, and his parents in New Hampshire are calling for a day of prayer.

James Foley was last seen Nov. 22, 2012, in northwestern Syria, where he was contributing videos from the nation’s civil war to Agence France-Presse and the media company GlobalPost.

Investigators have said they believe Foley is being held by the government near Damascus with one or more Western journalists.

Texas board delays OK of new biology book

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The long-simmering battle over teaching evolution in Texas boiled over at a latenight meeting, as the Board of Education extended preliminary approval of new science books for use in classrooms across the state but held up one biology text because of alleged factual errors.

Textbook and classroom curriculum battles have long raged in Texas pitting creationists against academics who worry about religious and political ideology trumping scientific fact.

The board is scheduled to vote again on all the proposed books at a meeting later today, then take final votes in January.



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