She Has a Swinging Time on Jet

The “smart little cookie” who took over a 747 cargo jet didn’t brandish a weapon or demand to be flown to a banana republic. But when all the monkeying around was over, the flight crew had been chased from the cockpit and the culprit was sitting at the controls aping the pilot. The 15-pound female macaque monkey, one of 60 research monkeys being flown to the United States from the Philippines, somehow escaped from its cage in the cargo hold en route and, egged on by the raucous screeches of its fellow travelers, crawled in between the walls of the plane to the flight deck. When the China Airlines jet landed at Kennedy Airport in New York, the noise and the sight of the cavorting monkey chased cargo workers from the plane, while the pilot and co-pilot took refuge in the cockpit. “The pilot and the co-pilot didn’t want to come out because they said the monkey had trapped them up there,” said John Schneider, an animal control officer who was called in to end the 90-minute game of hide-and-seek. The crew escaped when Schneider briefly corralled the monkey in the back of the plane, then lured it toward the cockpit. “I caught (her) sitting on the instrument panel right between the pilot and co-pilot in the flight deck.”

--Gardeners who bemoan their lack of a green thumb are in good company. Two farmers planted seeds they thought would bring them oats and wheat. Six months later they had 200 acres of weeds. Terry Hughes and E.J. Holmes of Conway, S.C., say they stand to lose about $250,000 each over the next five years, which is how long they figure it will take to weed out their problems and plant new crops. Both have sued the company that sold them the seeds, but Red Bluff Mill & Farm Supply denies the charges. “A farmer that can’t look at the seed and tell what kind of seed it is don’t need to be a farmer,” company owner Eldred Hardee said.

--Benazir Bhutto, leader of Pakistan’s main opposition party and daughter of the late Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, is engaged to marry a wealthy Pakistani farmer and businessman, her family announced. Bhutto, 34, will wed 34-year-old Asif Zardari, son of a former legislator and a former member of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party, which was founded by Bhutto’s father and is now headed by Bhutto. Her political role has been regarded as unusual for an unmarried woman in a passionately Muslim country where a woman’s role is usually seen as a mother and housewife. Bhutto said her marriage would not affect her political commitment to oust military President Zia-ul-Haq.