‘Death came from the sea’ — Rescuers are scouring the sea for missing tourists and soldiers are racing to recover bodies amid fears of disease as Asia counts the cost of a tsunami that has killed more than 16,400 along coasts from India to Indonesia. Relatives hunted through piles of dead stacked up in hospital corridors and threw flower petals into the waters off India to pray for the safe return of thousands still missing.

US Airways plagued by sick days — A Midwest snowstorm and a crush of baggage caused widespread problems for airlines over the holiday weekend, but a flurry of sick days by US Airways flight attendants contributed to delays, a spokeswoman for the troubled airline said. An unusually high number of US Airways flight attendants called in sick on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Amy Kudwa said yesterday. The news infuriated Linda Carroll, a Scituate nurse whose canceled flight meant spending Christmas in Scituate instead of Florida. “I understand that there are problems with the airlines, but a deliberate sick-in from these professionals really angers me,” she said.

Australia hotel siege ends peacefully — A man allegedly involved in a 17-hour siege at a hotel on Australia’s east coast was armed with an arsenal of bombs, grenades, flame throwers and a gun, police said Monday. Details of the incredible weapons cache, which also included a rocket launcher and grenade launcher, came as Jonathon Richwood, 43, appeared in Southport Magistrates Court on nine charges linked to the siege, which ended peacefully on Christmas Eve.

At airports, a test of patience — Many travelers have been praying for a way home this holiday. The prayer book at the interfaith chapel at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport was filled with their pleas. Christmas Day entries include: “Help us get to Buffalo” and “May we all have a flight to bring us home for Christmas.” An overburdened Comair computer system grounded more than 1,100 flights on Christmas Day and left tens of thousands of travelers stranded.

This cruise is no ‘Paradise’ — A Coast Guard helicopter crew sent to a cruise ship to evacuate a woman who had suffered a serious hand injury also wound up taking a man stricken with an apparent heart attack, authorities said Sunday. Another Coast Guard helicopter crew later was sent to the same ship – named Paradise – to evacuate a stroke victim, Petty Officer 1st Class Steve Howell said. The Coast Guard was first called to the ship 11:32 a.m. Saturday, according to Howell, who said the vessel was 43 miles off Point Loma at the time.

Court upholds $1 million award to cruise passenger — A federal appeals court has upheld a $1 million jury award for a woman who accused her waiter on a Celebrity Cruises ship of sexual battery. The woman, who was not named in the lawsuit, claimed that the waiter sexually assaulted her in a park near the docked Zenith while she was a passenger traveling from New York to Bermuda. The suit alleged that the ship’s medical staff treated her and flew her home from Bermuda on July 21, 1999.