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April 02, 2003 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-04-02

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 2, 2003


Cuban plane
KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) - A hijacker who
forced a Cuban Airlines plane to Key West Inter-
national Airport yesterday by claiming to have;
two grenades surrendered about an hour after the
aircraft landed with 32 people on board, authori-
ties said.
The hijacker was carrying a small boy when he left
the plane, Key West police spokesman Steve Tor-
rence said. The man, wearing a red jacket with
'America' stitched in white on the back, was taken
into FBI custody.;
A bomb squad removed what appeared to be two!
grenades from the plane and officers were attemptingj
to determine if they were genuine, he said.E
The AN-24 plane landed at 11:34 a.m., about 50
minutes after it took off from Havana's Jose Marti<
International Airport.
Some passengers had safely left the aircraft in1
Havana, but Hector Pesquera, head of the FBI's
South Florida office, said 25 passengers and seveni
crew members were still on board when the plane
landed in Florida.t
The crew had been in contact with air traffic con-t
trollers in Miami during the flight, FAA spokesman t
Christopher White said.
Maj. Ed Thomas of the North American Aero-
space Defense Command said earlier that the Air
Force had scrambled two F-15 Eagles from <
Homestead Air Force Reserve Base to escort the
plane to Key West.
It was the second hijacking from Cuba to Floridas
in less than a month.i

hijacker arr
The plane was hijacked late Monday on a flight
from Cuba's small Isle of Youth to Havana. Cuban
authorities originally reported six children among the
46 people aboard the hijacked craft.
The hijacker demanded to be flown to Florida, but
the plane first went to Havana because it didn't have
enough fuel to make it to the United States, Cuban
authorities had said.
Some passengers left the plane at Havana
nearly 12 hours after the man seized control. Two
separate groups of as many as two dozen passen-
gers, including a woman holding a small child,
jumped from an open rear hatch into the arms of
emergency workers.
Later, two white cars drove onto the airport tarmac
and a man aboard one car handed three large, stuffed
plastic bags to someone inside the plane. It was
unknown what was inside the bags.
Shortly after daybreak, a tank truck appeared to be
refueling the craft.
It would be extremely difficult for an average
Cuban to get access to grenades in communist-run
Cuba, where such weapons are heavily guarded by
the military.
It was also unclear how anyone would get a pair of
grenades through the heavy security checks at Cuba's
airports, especially in light of last month's hijacking
on the same route.
A government statement blamed the hijacking on
what Havana says is the lax treatment that six other
suspected hijackers received last month after forc-
ing a twin-engine DC-3 from Cuba to Key West at


The allec
steps off
The susp
with conspi
lence and f2
al prison.
A judge
angered the
behind bars
up with the
The DC-
Sixteen of t

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-if SEC AiY.r ~l N D o USCNNR C H A~
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a t l
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ged hijacker of a Cuban Airline
f the aircraft.
March 19.
pects in the earlier hijack were charged
iracy to seize an aircraft by force and vio-
ace a minimum of up to 20 years in feder-
granted them bail - which is what
e Cuban government - but they remain
s because they have been unable to come
3 carried 25 passengers and a crew of six.
hose aboard later opted to return to Cuba.
Asian -air-
liner faces
scare wth
flu virus
The Associated Press
An airliner from Asia was briefly
halted on a tarmac in San Jose, Calif.,
yesterday - the most dramatic sign
yet that a mysterious illness blamed for
more than 60 deaths worldwide is pro-
voking worry in the United States.
As it turned out, none of the five
passengers who caused concern among
the flight crew had the disease.
Seventy cases of the illness, severe
acute respiratory syndrome, called
SARS, are suspected in the United
States, but no one has died. Worldwide
there are about 1,800 cases.
The California airport incident was
the first time a plane has been stopped
in the United States for fear of passen-
gets spreading the disease. Some pas-
sengers and health officials called it an
U:S. health officials are not consider-
ing quarantines so far because the dis-
ease is not spreading as rapidly as in
Asia and the related outbreak in Toronto.
In Hong Kong, for example, some
240 residents of an apartment complex
where SARS has spread were taken
away to quarantine camps yesterday. But
such measures don't yet appear warrant-
ed in the United States, said Tommy
Thompson, secretary of the U.S. Depart-
ment of Health and Human Services.
"We are in the business of protecting
the public health of all citizens,"
Thompson said yesterday in Atlanta.
"If there is a virus that is explosive ...
and the only way to control it is by
quarantine, we have to consider it.
Israel says
U.S. peace
plan will
need work
Jersusalem (AP) - Israel's foreign
minister said yesterday the United
States is determined to publish a
Mideast peace plan soon but Israel
would seek changes before accepting
it. The Israeli opposition leader,
Amram Mitzna, and Palestinian offi-
cials said Israel effectively is rejecting
the plan, a three-stage "road map" to
Palestinian statehood by 2005.
The Americans are "determined to
publish the road map," the foreign
minister, Silvan Shalom, told Israel
Army Radio yesterday, a day after
meeting with President Bush at the
White House.

Shalom laid down a number of con-
ditions for resuming talks with the
Palestinians and said "the road map
needs to be adapted."
Israel repeatedly has said it accepts
the "Bush vision," which is based on a
policy speech he delivered June 24, but
has balked at embracing the road map
drawn up by the "Quartet" - the Unit-
ed States, the European Union, Russia
and the United Nations - outlining
implementation of that vision.
A diplomatic source said on condi-
tion of anonymity that Quartet officials

FBI: Al-Qaida may be recuiting women
Recent intelligence has the FBI worried that al-Qaida may be recruiting and train-
ing women to carry out terror attacks, trying to regain an element of surprise for a
network thinned by arrests, officials say.
For the first time in the war on terror, the FBI has issued a be-on-the-lookout
bulletin for a woman, a Pakistani neurological expert, wanted for questioning in
the terrorism investigation. Analysts also are examining claims another woman
made in an Arab newspaper that she was asked by Osama bin Laden to open
training camps for female terrorists.
Female attackers, successfully used by other terror organizations such as the Pales-
tinian Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, would represent a major tactical shift for al-Qaida
after years of being aligned with the Afghan Taliban regime that oppressed women
and considered them unworthy to participate in an Islamic holy war, officials said.
"The FBI and our partners in the intelligence community are analyzing infor-
mation around the clock for trends or any indicators that would help us prevent
the next terrorist attack," FBI spokesman Mike Kortan said.
Several U.S. intelligence officials said they have no credible information suggest-
ing an imminent attack plan to be carried out by women, but analysts are wary of the
TULA Texas
Drug trial marred by corrupt testimony
The drug convictions of 38 mostly black defendants from a farm town in the Texas
Panhandle should be thrown out because they were based on questionable testimony
from a single undercover agent accused of racial prejudice, a judge said yesterday.
Retired state district Judge Ron Chapman urged the Texas Court of Criminal
Appeals to grant new trials to everyone convicted in a case that has prompted investi-
gations by the Justice Department and Texas attorney general.
"It is stipulated by all parties and approved by the court that Tom Coleman is sim-
ply not a credible witness under oath," Chapman said of the agent.
The case involved 1999 cocaine busts in this predominantly white town of 5,000
people. Coleman said he bought drugs from the defendants in an 18-month investiga-
tion, where he worked. alone and used no video surveillance.
But no drugs were ever found during the arrests and little or no corroborating evi-
dence was introduced at trial. The Texas American Civil Liberties Union suggested
discrimination was behind the arrests, intended to cleanse Tulia of its black popula-
tion. Coleman is white.
Coleman, who had been due to resume testifying at the hearing yesterday, was not
in the courthouse when the judge announced his recommendation.


JAKARTA, Indonesia
Eastern Indonesia
devastated by floods
Landslides triggered by flash
floods in eastern Indonesia killed at
least 27 people and left five others
missing, police said yesterday.
The floods and landslides swept
away 17 houses on Flores island,
about 1,000 miles east of the capital
of Jakarta, said Paulinus Domi, head
of the local district of Ende.
Police said they were searching
for the missing late yesterday.
No other details were immediately
Flooding and landslides have
killed nearly 80 people on several
Indonesian islands since the current
rainy season began in late Novem-
ber. Many of the disasters have been
blamed on deforestation caused by
rampant illegal logging.
Teachers suspended
for protesting war
Two high school teachers said yester-
day they have been placed on leave for
refusing to remove war-related student
artwork posted in their classrooms.
Highland High School teachers-
Allen Cooper and Geoffrey Barrett
said they were told Monday night that
they would be suspended if they did
not remove the posters.
Barrett, who teaches history and
current events, said the student art
carried both anti-war and pro-war

messages, and was created as part of
a class assignment.
"I think this is mostly a violation
of the students' rights to have a
voice and express their opinions,"
Barrett said.
"Asking me to take down the
posters was taking away the voice of
the students and I was not going to
do that."
Cooper said one of the signs in
question in his classroom read "No
War Mr. Cooper."
'Spidennan' climbs
tower to protest war
A French climber who calls himself
"Spiderman" scaled the 47-story head-
quarters of oil giant TotalFina Elf outside
Paris yesterday to protest the war in Iraq.
Wearing a shirt with the message "No
war," Alain Robert reached the top of the
office tower in under an hour. At the top,
he unfurled a flag with the same slogan.
Police greeted Robert at the top of
the building, located in the La Defense
financial district east of Paris, and
escorted him to the ground floor.
"I wanted to protest against the war
because I find the war completely ille-
gal;' Robert told reporters, as police led
him away. It wasn't clear whether he
would be charged criminally.
Robert, 40, who is renowned for
climbing without ropes or other equip-
ment, has also climbed the Eiffel Tower
and more than 30 skyscrapers, includ-
ing New York's Empire State Building.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.


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