2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 20, 2001
Bush signs airport security bill
WASHINGTON (AP) - The gov-
ernment began taking charge of airport
security yesterday at the start of the holi-
day travel season. President Bush signed
legislation that will have more screeners
peering in passengers' bags and more
sky marshals flying on planes.
"Today we take permanent and
aggressive steps to improve the securi-
ty of our airways," Bush said at a cere-
mony at Reagan National Airport. The
new law will put airport screening in
the hands of 28,000 federal workers
and require inspections of all checked
The signing of the most comprehen-
sive air security bill in the nation's histo-
ry came three days after passage by
Congress and three days before Thanks-
giving. Lawmakers and the administra-
tion were determined to act before the
holidays in an effort to convince travel-
ers that it was safe to get back on air-
planes 10 weeks after the hijacker
attacks on New York and Washington.
Fewer Americans were planning to
travel by air this Thanksgiving, accord-
ing to the AAA. The group, formerly
known as the American Automobile
Association, forecast 4.6 million people
traveling by air, a 27 percent decline
from last year's 6.3 million.
The new law, said Bush, "should
give all Americans greater confidence
when they fly."
For many air travelers, already seeing
longer waits on the ground and more
restrictions in the air, some of the effects
of the law won't be readily apparent.
"It's not going to be a dramatic
change immediately," said Transporta-
tion Department spokesman Chet Lun-
ner. "There are thousands of posts to
be filled ... ald dozens of mandates
Federal managers will be moving
into position at screening stations,
although it will take a while, probably
three months, before travelers see uni-
formed federal workers doing the
screening, said Rep. James Oberstar of
Minnesota, ranking Democrat on the
House Transportation Committee.
The law calls for all screening oper-
ations, now run by private security
companies, to be under federal control
within a year, with all 28,000 screen-
ers on the federal payroll. After three
years, airports can shift to other non-
federal security systems if they meet
certain conditions but they will remain
under federal supervision.
There will soon be more law enforce-
ment officers at strategic points: At least
one must be assigned to every screening
station at major airports.
Passengers will face more hand
searches of carryon bags, more hand-
wand patdowns and more computer-
assisted prescreening, including
crosschecks with FBI and other watch
ALEXANDRIA, Va .
Suspect arrested in driver's license scam
An Indonesian man named in FBI documents as a contact for airline hijacker
Mohammed Atta was arrested yesterday and charged with helping obtain false
Virginia identification for another man listed in the same documents as a contact
for Osama bin Laden.
Agus Budiman appeared before a U.S. magistrate in this Washington suburb
on a criminal complaint charging him with helping Mohammad Bin Nasser
Belfas obtain a Virginia driver's license.
Both Budiman and Belfas are among 370 names included on a detailed FBI
list of people sought for questioning in the investigation of the Sept. 11 attacks
on New York and Washington. The list was released last month by Finnish bank-
Budiman is identified on the list as a U.S. contact person for Atta, the pre-
sumed ringleader of the 19 hijackers. Belfas is identified as a contact person for
bin Laden, the prime U.S. suspect in the attacks.
According to the criminal complaint filed yesterday, Budiman and Belfas
came to the United States from Hamburg, Germany, in October 2000. Attorney
General John Ashcroft has said that Atta and two other hijackers were part of a
terrorist cell that operated in Hamburg and the United States.
Leahy and Daschle letters linked by FBI
The FBI announced yesterday it believes a letter belatedly found last week was
written by the same person who sent an anthrax-laced letter to Senate Majority
Leader Tom Daschle last month. Agents have decided on an investigative strate-
gy they hope will lead to the sender.
The FBI announcement came as two buildings on Capitol Hill struck by the
anthrax scare reopened, and U.S. health experts provided assistance to authorities
in Chile who found a new letter that may contain anthrax.
Tom Skinner, spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
in Atlanta, said the agency was planning to test the substance in a letter found by
the Chilean government. Skinner said the test could take several days.
Regarding the planned analysis of the Leahy letter, "FBI and Centers for Disease
Control investigators hope that this careful, scientifically agreed upon approach will
yield clues that will help identify the source," the FBI said in a statement.
The Leahy letter was found Friday by the FBI and hazardous materials person-
nel from the Environmental Protection Agency in one of 280 barrels of unopened
mail sent to Capitol Hill and held since discovery of the letter to Daschle.
U.S. to step up Mideast engagement
The Washington Post
LOUISVILLE - Secretary of State Colin
Powell made his first major rhetorical. foray into
the Middle East conflict yesterday, repeating
American insistence on an immediate end to the
14-month-old violence between Israel and the
Palestinians while raising expectations of greater
U.S. engagement in peacemaking.
After nearly a year of limited diplomatic
involvement by the Bush administration in the
region, Powell delivered a much-anticipated
speech promising "active American engage-
ment" and announcing he would be dispatching
two senior envoys to the Middle East this week-
end to help broker an elusive cease-fire.
It remained unclear, however, whether Powell's
remarks, which the State Department billed as a
major statement of Middle East policy, herald the
debut of a concerted diplomatic push by a wary
administration or will soon amount to empty oratory.
Though Powell's speech held out the promise
of a revitalized U.S. role, it offered no new diplo-
matic plan. He instead urged the two sides to fol-
low the recommendations earlier this year of an
international committee headed by former Sen.
George J. Mitchell (D-Maine), calling for an end
to violence followed by measures to restore
mutual confidence and a return to negotiations
over a political settlement.
Powell sought to reinvigorate the stymied
peace process by reminding Israelis and Pales-
tinians of steps they needed to take to rebuild the
sense of hope shattered by the unsuccessful
Camp David summit last year. And he looked
beyond the current bloodletting, asking both
sides to take up the long-term issues that divide
them, such as the fate of Jerusalem and Palestin-
ian refugees, with restored U.S. support.
"The Middle East has always needed active Amer-
ican engagement for there to be progress, and we will
provide it just as we have for over half a century,"
Powell told 1,200 faculty members, students and
community leaders at the University of Louisville.
Secretary of State Colin Powell accuses Israel of stalling the
Mideast peace process yesterday in Louisville, Ky.
U. N.: 6 countries making germ weapons
GENEVA (AP) - The United said. "The existence of Iraq's program
States identified Iraq and five other
countries yesterday as states that are
developing germ warfare programs but
refused to say whether any may have
assisted Osama bin Laden in his quest
for biological weapons.
John R. Bolton, undersecretary of
state for arms control, said the existence
of Iraq's program is "beyond dispute"
and that the United States strongly sus-
pects North Korea, Libya, Syria, Iran
and Sudan of developing programs.
"The United States strongly sus-
pects that Iraq has taken advantage of
three years of no U.N. inspections to
improve all phases of its offensive bio-
logical weapons program," Bolton
is beyond dispute."
Condoleeza Rice, President Bush's
national security adviser, on Sunday
left open the possibility that Iraq could
become a target in Bush's war on ter-
"We do not need the events of Sep-
tember 11 to tell us that (Saddam Hus-
sein) is a very dangerous man who is a
threat to his own people, a threat to the
region and a threat to us because he is
determined to acquire weapons of
mass destruction," she said.
Bolton also told the 144 nations that
have signed the 1972 Biological
Weapons Convention that the United
States finds North Korea's biological
weapons program "extremely disturb-
He said the United States believed
North Korea had a dedicated, national-
level effort to achieve a biological
weapons capability and that it has
"developed and produced, and may
have weaponized" biological agents.
He also said the United States was
"quite concerned" about Iran, Libya,
Syria and Sudan, all of which
appeared to have biological weapons
"There are other states I could have
named which the United States will be
contacting privately concerning our
belief that they are pursuing an offensive
biological weapons program,"he said.
Bolton said the United States knows
"that Osama bin Laden considers
obtaining weapons of mass destruction
to be a sacred duty" and wants to use
them against the United States."
"We are concerned that he could
have been trying to acquire a rudimen-
tary biological weapons capability,
possibly with support from a state."
He said the United States was "not
prepared to comment whether rogue
states may have assisted" bin Laden in
Ali Asghar Soltanieh, the Iranian
ambassador to the conference, said the
allegation that his country was devel-
oping biological weapons was "unjus-
tified and baseless." ,
Stats gv e
WASHINGTON (AP) - Nearly
everyone who lives in Las Vegas used
to call someplace else home. North-
easterners are more settled, although
more suburbanites live in bigger hous-
es farther from the job.
The Census Bureau's latest statisti-
cal snapshot looks at American stan-
dards of living at the turn of the
century. Still, the information is a year
old, and a lot has changed with the
economic downturn and the Sept. 11
For instance, people in the technolo-
gy-rich Silicon Valley in California
were among the best-educated and
well-paid in 2000; the area's economy
has taken. a hit this past year.
Three of New York City's five bor-
oughs had some of the highest poverty
rates in the country last year; it is
uncertain how the economic fallout
from the terrorist attacks will affect
families there over the long term.
"We've seen the best of times and
we've also seen the worse," said Uni-
versity of Michigan demographer
William Frey. "But we will come back,
and when we come back it will be in
these same places."
The bureau says the estimates from
the wide-ranging Census 2000 Supple-
mentary Survey are a preview of data
still to come from the official head
Among the highlights:
San Jose, Calif., topped the nation
with a median household income of
$72,268, with San Francisco second at
$57,259. Santa Clara and San Mateo
counties in California were among the
top 10 counties.
Longtime San Jose resident Pat
Capper was not surprised that her
NTSB: Crash still
looks like accident
Neither the pilots' conversations nor
any background noises in the cockpit
of American Airlines Flight 587 show
any evidence that a terrorist attack or
sabotage brought down the plane, the
head of the National Transportation
Safety Board said yesterday.
A complete transcript of the cockpit
voice recorder, including background
noises, showed no indication of a bomb
or explosion, NTSB Chairwoman Mari-
on Blakey said in an interview
"You're seeing evidence that points in
the direction of this having been an acci-
dent;' Blakey said. "We continue not to
have anything that points to terrorism."
American Flight 587 plunged to the
ground minutes after taking off from
New York's Kennedy Airport on Nov. 12.
The crash killed 265 people. Coming just
two months after four commercial air-
planes were hijacked, the crash initially
raised fears of another terrorist attack.
Latest violence leaves
1 dead, 3 injured
Israeli troops killed one Palestinian
and wounded another yesterday as the
two were planting a bomb along a road
in the West Bank. Earlier, three Israelis
were wounded in a shooting attack.
The relatively minor fighting - and
a brief incursion into Gaza by Israeli
tanks - came as Secretary of St4te
Colin Powell called on the Palestinians
to stop violence immediately and insist-
ed that Israel halt settlement construc-
Both Palestinians and Israelis wel-
comed Powell's comments, part of
what was billed as a major policy
speech that he delivered in Kentucky
at the University of Louisville
Palestinian Cabinet minister Nabil
Shaath praised Powell's firm stand
against settlement construction. Pales-
tinians want a state in all of the West
Bank and Gaza Strip, with removal of
all Jewish settlements there.
Requests for Capitol
flags surpass supply
A sign of America's soaring patrio-
tism: The Capitol has run out of the
flags lawmakers give their constituents.
Some, 100,000 American flags are
briefly flown from the roof of the
Capitol each year for the purpose of
providing members of Congress with
souvenirs to send home to their dis-
tricts. The flags come with a certificate
of authenticity usually inscribed to
recognize an event or person.
About 30,000 orders have not been
filled, and Jim Forbes, spokesman for
the House Administration Committee,
said they are about six months behind
schedule. Never before has the Capitol
run out of flags, he said.
"We view it as a good thing because
of the surge of patriotism in America,"
Forbes said, adding that there were
about 50,000 requests for flags in the
three days after the terrorist attacks on
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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