2A-The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 4, 2006
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Turkish policemen patrol the arrival hall of the
Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey,
plane to Italy
Hijacker reportedly sought
political asylum, not to protest
pope's visit as previously thought
BRINDISI, Italy (AP) - A Turkish man seeking
political asylum hijacked a jetliner carrying 113 people
yesterday and forced it to land in southern Italy, where he
surrendered and released all the passengers unharmed,
Security officials in the southern Italian city of Brin-
disi, where the plane landed, said the unarmed hijacker
was seeking to have a message delivered to the pope, but
said they did not know what that message was.
Turkish officials said the suspect, identified as
Hakan Ekinci, 28, was an army deserter seeking polit-
ical asylum. They stressed that earlier statements by
some officials that he had hijacked the plane to protest
Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Turkey next month were
"From the onset of the events, there was no verified
information that the hijacking was related to the pope
visit," Turkish Transport Minister Binali Yildirim told
The Associated Press. "It was a simple attempt of seek-
ing political asylum under the influence of psychological
Candan Karlitekin, chairman of Turkish Airlines'
board of directors, initially said the Boeing 737-400 had
been hijacked by two Turks. But several officials later
said that Ekinci acted alone.
The Turkish captain of the jet issued an alert that
the plane was hijacked shortly after it took off from the
Albanian capital of Tirana en route to Istanbul.
"The man burst into the cockpit and said 'there's two
of us,"'leading authorities to believe the man was not act-
ing alone, according to an Italian security official based
in Brindisi. The official spoke on condition of anonymity
because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
"There was only one hijacker. He surrendered to
authorities at the airport," the official said.
Another official, who also spoke on condition of
anonymity, said no weapons were found on Ekinci and
police searching the plane also found no weapons.
SEOUL, South Korea
N. Korea says it will conduct nuclear test
North Korea triggered global alarm yesterday by saying it will conduct a
nuclear test, a key step in the manufacture of atomic bombs that it views as a
deterrent against any U.S. attack. But the North also said it was committed to
nuclear disarmament, suggesting a willingness to negotiate.
The contradictory statement fits a North Korean pattern of ratcheting up
tension on the Korean Peninsula, a Cold War-era flashpoint, in an attempt to
win concessions such as economic aid.
The strategy has had mixed results in recent years as the totalitarian regime
sinks deeper into isolation and poverty, with China serving as its lifeline for
food and fuel.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called the announcement "a very
provocative act" and urged Asian nations to rethink their relationships with
Gunman told wife he had molested relatives
The gunman who killed five girls in an Amish schoolroom confided to his
wife during the siege that he molested two relatives 20 years ago when he was
boy and was tormented by dreams of doing it again, authorities said yesterday.
Investigators also said that Charles Carl Roberts IV, 32, plotted his takeover of
the school for nearly a week and that the items he brought - including flexible
plastic ties, eyebolts and lubricating jelly - suggest he may have been planning
to sexually assault the Amish girls before police closed in.
"It's very possible that he intended to victimize these children in many ways
prior to executing them and killing himself," State Police Commissioner Jeffrey
B. Miller said. But Roberts "became disorganized when we arrived," and shot
himself in the head.
Holding up a copy of the gunman's suicide note at a packed news conference,
Miller also suggested that Roberts was haunted by the death of his prematurely
born daughter in 1997. The baby, Elise, died 20 minutes after being delivered,
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.
Foley says he was molested by clergyman
Disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley said through his lawyer yesterday that
he was sexually abused by a clergyman as a teenager, but accepts full respon-
sibility for sending salacious computer messages to teenage male pages.
Attorney David Roth said Foley was molested between ages 13 and 15.
He declined to identify the clergyman or the church, but Foley is Roman
He also acknowledged for the first time that the former congressman is gay,
saying the disclosure was part of his client's "recovery."
"Mark Foley wants you to know he is a gay man," Roth told reporters as
Republicans struggled with fallout from Foley's resignation.
Hastert dismisses calls for his resignation
House Speaker Dennis Hastert brushed aside resignation talk yesterday, even as
the Republicans' No. 2 House leader contradicted him in the page scandal. Presi-
dent Bush gave Hastert a vote of confidence as the party struggled to contain pre-
Hastert, an Illinois Republican, said he wouldn't resign as speaker, the top offi-
cial in Congress and second in the line of succession to the presidency, in the con-
troversy over Rep. Mark Foley's salacious computer exchanges with former pages.
Foley resigned last Friday.
- Compiledfrom Daily wire reports
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Thursday, October 26t'', 2006
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