BEIT LAHIYA, Gaza Strip (AP) -
A remote-controlled bomb exploded
under a U.S. diplomatic convoy yester-
day, ripping apart an armored van and
killing three Americans in an unprece-
dented deadly attack on an official U.S.
President Bush blamed Palestinian
officials for the attack, which wounded
another American. "Palestinian author-
ities should have acted long ago to
fight terror in all its forms," Bush said.
The State Department identified the
slain Americans as John Branchizio,
36; Mark Parson, 31; and John Martin
Linde Jr., 30 - all employees of Dyn-
Corp, a Virginia-based security firm.
Palestinian officials condemned the
bombing and promised to help the
investigation. But they will likely now
come under intensified U.S. pressure to
take action against militants.
If Palestinian militants were to
blame, it could signal a dramatic
change in strategy. While targeting
Israeli soldiers and civilians for years,
the main militant groups Hamas and
Islamic Jihad have not attacked U.S.
Both groups repeated their stance
yesterday that they don't attack Ameri-
cans, and there was no claim of respon-
sibility for the bombing.
The attack targeted a convoy of U.S.
Embassy diplomats heading to Gaza to
interview Palestinian candidates for a
Fulbright scholarship, Bush said. The
three dead and the wounded man were
American security personnel working
on contract with the embassy, said U.S.
ambassador Dan Kurtzer.
The U.S. Embassy advised U.S. citi-
zens to leave the Gaza Strip after the
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat
condemned the bombing as an
"awful crime." The Palestinian
prime minister, Ahmed Qureia,
called Secretary of State Colin Pow-
ell to express his condolence and
promise swift action.
An FBI legal attache is investigating,
the FBI said. A team of investigators
who photographed the charred van was
pelted with rocks by Palestinians and
had to cut short the visit.
The Israeli Supreme Court tem-
porarily blocked the expulsions of
15 Palestinians accused of militant
activities yesterday until the court
can hear, their appeals, expected
within a week.
The Israeli army on Tuesday ordered
the 15 Palestinian detainees to be
expelled from the West Bank to the
Gaza Strip. It issued similar expulsion
orders for three more Palestinians on
Wednesday. Human rights groups con-
demn the policy as a violation of inter-
Yesterday's bomb exploded
around 10:15 a.m. (4:15 a.m. EDT)
as the three-car convoy, escorted by
Palestinian police, was heading
south on Gaza's main road just after
entering the Gaza Strip from Israel.
In Washington, State Department
spokeswoman Brooke Summers said
the blast came from a "previously -
planted explosive device."
1 st HOUR FREE
" 15 years Experience
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
The Vietnam Protestors
Truong Nhu Tang, a founder
of the National Liberation
Front (Viet Cong), writes in
A Viet Cong Memoir, "The
Western anti-war movements
had contributed much to our
victory." Did the protestors
save or cost lives?
Gary Lillie & Assoc., Realtors
ArAR TM E NT H OM E S
NEWS IN BRIEF #,f
Ferry crash kills at least 10, wounds 34
A Staten Island ferry slammed into a pier as it was docking yesterday, killing at
least 10 people, tearing off some victims' limbs and reducing the front of the
mighty vessel to a shattered mass of wood, glass and steel. At least 34 people
The ferry pilot, responsible for docking the vessel, fled the scene immediately
after the crash, went to his Staten Island home and attempted suicide by slitting
his wrists and shooting himself with a pellet gun, a police official said on the con-
dition of anonymity. The pilot was rushed to the same hospital as many of the vic-
tims and underwent surgery.
The 310-foot ferry, carrying about 1,500 passengers, plowed into the enormous
wooden pilings on the Staten Island end of its run from Manhattan, ripping a
giant hole in the right side of the three-level, bright-orange vessel.
"There was a lady without legs, right in the middle of the boat," said ferry passen-
ger Frank Corchado, 29. "She was screaming. You ever see anything like that?"
Corchado said it felt as if the ferry accelerated as it approached land, waking
him as he napped on the trip home to Staten Island. He ran away from the front of
the boat to safety, but saw others who weren't as lucky - six people dead, includ-
ing one who had been decapitated.
PINELLAS PARK, Ra,
Removal of feeding tube sparks debate
Doctors removed the feeding tube yesterday that has been keeping alive'a
severely brain-damaged woman at the center of an epic, six-year legal battle
between her husband and parents.
Terri Schiavo, 39, underwent the procedure at the Tampa Bay area hospice
where she has been living for several years, said her father, Bob Schindler. Attor-
neys representing her husband, Michael Schiavo, said it will take between a week
and 10 days for her to die.
The tube removal came just hours after Gov. Jeb Bush told Bob Schindler
and his wife, Mary, that he was instructing his legal staff to find some
means to block the court order allowing Michael Schiavo to end his wife's
"I am not a doctor, I am not a lawyer. But I know that if a person can be
able to sustain life without life support, that should be tried," the governor
said, adding the "ultimate decision of this is in the courts."
The brother of the woman said the family was heartened by the gover-
nor's last-minute effort.
GOB DESERT, China
First Chinese man in
orbit: 'splendid' view
China's first astronaut carried the
hopes of his nation into orbit with him
Wednesday, promising to do a good
job and telling his family far below
that the view from space was
The apparently flawless launch of the
Shenzhou 5 capsule capped a decade-
long effort by China's secretive, military-
linked space program that communist
leaders hope will boost the nation's
The rocket carrying Lt. Col. Yang
Liwei, a 38-year-old fighter pilot turned
astronaut, streaked into a clear blue sky
at precisely 9 a.m. (9 p.m. EDT Tuesday)
from a Gobi Desert launch pad in
China's remote northwest. The govern-
ment said the capsule entered orbit 10
China Central Television broke into its
programming to announce the liftoffand
28 minutes later broadcast the first grip-
ping scenes of the rocket blasting off.
FDA works to lift ban
on breast implants
Eleven years after most silicone-
gel breast implants were prohibited,
government advisers recommended
yesterday that the ban be lifted
despite lingering questions about
safety and durability.
But the Food and Drug Adminis-
tration's advisers urged that Inamed
Corp.'s sales be allowed only under
certain conditions, including ensur-
ing that all users get detailed
brochures explaining the devices'
known risks - such as a need for
frequent reoperations for pain or
Women will need annual exams o
be sure their implants haven't silently
begun leaking, the panel stressed.
FORT LAUDERDALE, a.
attracted to fast food
Overweight children appear to be
especially susceptible to the lure of fast
food, a study found. They stuff them-
selves.-even more ravenously than 'other
youngsters do and are less able to com-
pensate by eating sparingly the rest of the
day. The study is nutrition experts' latest
attempt to nail down the link they suspect
exists between fast food and the daunting
increase in obesity, which now afflicts
one in 10 children and teenagers in the
Even though the drive-through win-
dow is often blamed for Americans' big
and growing weight problem, its exact
role is less clear, since people
overindulge and exercise minimally.
- Compiled fom Daily wire reports.
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