April 6, 2001 – Hainan Island Standoff – Pacific Gas & Electric Goes Belly-Up – Ernie Goes Missing
April 6, 2001 – Unlike the smiling and somewhat relieved faces in the photo above, the fate of the Navy EP-3E Spy plane, forced down over Hainan Island by the collision with a Chinese Air Force fighter, was still in limbo. The EP-3E Aries II surveillance aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing April 1 on Hainan Island off the coast of China after a midair collision with a Chinese F-8 fighter jet. The Chinese jet crashed into the South China Sea, and its pilot is presumed dead. The U.S. Navy plane managed to land safely with its crew uninjured. China is holding the 24-member American crew in what authorities there call “protective custody.”
As of this day, negotiations were still going on, the State Department was hopeful and the Chinese government were very hospitable. They just couldn’t leave yet.
In other news – Pacific Gas and Electric Co.,with its debts increasing by $300 million a month, filed for bankruptcy in San Francisco yesterday after deciding that bailout talks with Gov. Gray Davis were on the verge of collapse.
The bankruptcy filing — the third-largest in U.S. history — did not affect the utility’s parent company, PG&E Corp., or any other PG&E division.
PG&E said it expects no disruptions in service to its 13 million customers. It also said it does not expect to lay off any of its 20,000 employees.
But the move could lead to substantially higher rates for consumers if a bankruptcy judge places PG&E’s $9 billion in debt obligations on ratepayers. Always the catch.
And Ernie, the six-toed orange-and-white tabby who once belonged to President Bush wandered away from the spacious Brentwood Park home of his adoptive owner, Brad Freeman. The investment banker and Bush fund-raiser adopted Ernie in January, when the Bushes decided he wouldn’t be making the move from Texas to the White House because he might claw the antique furniture.
And that’s just a taste of what went on, this April 6, 2001 as presented by CBS Radio News.