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BLACK BOXES INTACT Crashed jet landed too far down runway TORONTO: The Air France jet that skidded off the runway and burst into flames earlier this week landed farther down the runway than it should have, but it is too soon to know if that was the reason for the crash, aviation investigators said Friday. All 309 people on board escaped with their lives after Flight 358 from Paris crashed at Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport Tuesday afternoon. French officials announced Friday most of the indicators from the black boxes appeared intact and were not destroyed in the fire. The Associated Press PASSENGERS QUESTIONED Bomb threat on plane spurs landing, probe HOUSTON: A note found in a Southwest Airlines seat pocket claiming a bomb was on the plane prompted a landing and evacuation on an isolated stretch of runway Friday, but bomb-sniffing dogs found no signs of explosives, authorities said.
Investigators interviewed and re-screened the 136 passengers who had been on the flight from Dallas to Houston. Three passengers who saw the note were still being interviewed late Friday afternoon, but no one had been taken into custody, FBI spokesman Al Tribble said. The Associated Press THIRD RECENT DEATH Girl collapses, dies at Disney water park ORLANDO, Medical examiners tried to determine Friday why a 12-year-old girl died after collapsing in a Walt Disney World park the third time in two months a child has died or become critically ill at the resort. Lifeguards noticed Jerra Kirby, of Newport News, Va on a ledge of the wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon on Thursday. She said she was fine and wanted to be left alone, but passed out when she stood up, officials said.
She was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Results of Friday's autopsy could take several weeks, according to the Medical Examiner's Office in Orlando. LED TO EARLIER RULING Jury finds inmate mentally competent YORKTOWN, A death row inmate whose case led to the 2002 Supreme Court ban on executing the mentally retarded was found mentally competent by a Virginia jury Friday. A judge immediately scheduled his execution for December. Daryl Atkins, 27, was 18 when he and William Jones killed Airman 1st Class Eric Nes-bitt, 21.
Nesbitt was abducted outside a convenience store, forced to withdraw money from an automated teller machine, driven to a desolate road and shot eight times. The Associated Press The Associated Press A ASBURY PARK PRESS I SATURDAY, AUG. 6, 2005 NEW YORK BRIEFS aundies pif offensivs Operation Quick Strike takes aim at positions along Euphrates River THE ASSOCIATED PRESS BAGHDAD, Iraq U.S. Marines and Iraqi troops pounded insurgents with bombs and tank cannons Friday during a major offensive along a stretch of the Euphrates River valley where 22 Marines were killed this week. About 800 U.S.
Marines and 180 Iraqi soldiers moved into Haqlaniyah, one of a cluster of western towns in Anbar province that is believed to be an insurgent stronghold. Heavy Abrams tanks battled insurgents armed with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, while U.S. jets destroyed at least four buildings If ''CA lmrKA-i Si ll ll vyj A I "Ayatollah al-Sistani hopes that Islam becomes the main source of legislation." two of which were found booby-trapped with explosives, a U.S. military statement said. Operation Quick Strike is the third major campaign since May aimed at rooting out in- 4i it.
M. 0J U.S. Navy Corpsman Brendan John McGuire (left), of Manalapan and U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Benjamin Adams of Ohio guard a house Friday in Parwana, near Haditha, Iraq, (associated press) Iraqi Prime surgents and Minister foreign fighters Ibrahim al- in the Euph-Jaafari.
rates valley, which is believed to be a major infiltration route for extremists entering Iraq from Syria. Residents said U.S. and Iraqi troops had cordoned off Haqlaniyah, about 140 miles northwest of Baghdad, and were searching house to house. American warplanes prowled overhead and a number of heavy explosions were heard. Witnesses said 500-pound bombs were being dropped in the area.
Scientists to track gases through city Government scientists who want to find out how fast and far a chemical attack could move through a city will release colorless, harmless gases in subways, an office building and some of Manhattan's most crowded streets to see which way the wind blows them. Ultimately scientists hope they can produce a computerized model of air flow patterns that could help author-ities decide where to evacuate people and in which direction after a bio-terrorist attack. "You can use those models to say, 'What if something happened said Jerry Allwine, an engineer with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. Allwine is overseeing the Urban Dispersion Project, which started five years ago with pilot programs in Salt Lake City and Oklahoma City, and came to New York City in March, tracking the path of nontoxic, odorless gases through well-traveled sections of midtown Manhattan. While the March studies concentrated on outdoor air patterns, this month's tests will include a release inside a midtown office building, the subways and outside major landmarks to track how air moves in and out of structures.
'DaVinciCode' lawsuit tossed "The Da Vinci Code," a best selling thriller, does not infringe the copyrights of a book published in 2000 by another author, a judge has ruled. In a ruling dated Thursday, U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels said New Hampshire author Dan Brown's story exploring codes hidden in Leonardo Da Vinci's artwork is not substantially similar to "Daughter of God," by author Lewis Perdue. He said both novels tell a story based on religious and historical people, places and events but the factual details in each are quite different.
He said Brown's book "is simply a different story" and fails to support Perdue's infringement claim. For instance, he noted, there are no substantial similarities between any characters in the books and the heroes and heroines are different. "Any slightly similar elements are on the level of generalized or otherwise un-protectile ideas," the judge said as he tossed out Perdue's claims that there were similarities to "Daughter of God." He also ruled out violations of copyrights in "The Da Vinci Legacy." Brown and Random House Inc. filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan last year seeking a declaratory judgment that his work does not infringe on Perdue's.
In a countersuit, Perdue asked the judge to rule that there was infringement and award $150 million in damages. Wire reports fended its operations in western Iraq, insisting it is reducing insurgent attacks despite the nearly two dozen Marine deaths this week. Iraq's leading Shiite Muslim cleric, meanwhile, signaled he wants Islam as the foundation of the country's legal system, setting the stage for a showdown next week as politicians struggle to finish the draft of a constitution by the Aug. 15 deadline. the charter.
Islam in the constitution is opposed by Kurds and some Iraqi women, who fear a major rollback of their rights. The prime minister said al-Sistani also indicated he would not oppose a federal system for Iraq. That is opposed by Sunni Arabs, who fear it would break up the country. Kurds support federalism so they can continue the self-rule they have enjoyed since 1991. Prime Minister ftrahim al-Jaafari conferred with Shiite religious leaders, who wield strong influence among Iraq's majority Shiite population.
During the meetings, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani told al-Jaafari that he would like the constitution to make Islam as the main source of legislation, the prime minister said. The role of Islam in the constitution has been one of the major sources of contention among the committee drafting The prime minister said the issue of Kirkuk, from which Saddam Hussein displaced thousands of Kurds in the 1980s, should be solved according to Article 58 in the interim constitution, which says all Iraqis who were displaced during Saddam's regime have the right to return to their homes and receive compensation. Political leaders are scheduled to meet Sunday to try to resolve remaining differences over the constitution. The U.S. military has de- In the holy city of Najaf, Struggle for Voting Rights Act of 1965 remembered By ANA RAOELAT GANNETT NEWS SERVICE WASHINGTON As a 23-year-old new mother, Ruth Bryant was willing to risk her job and possibly her life to fight for the right to vote in Shreveport, La.
More than 45 years ago, she told investigators from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that white officials in Shreveport repeatedly had refused to register her as a voter. Her birth certificate and pay stubs from her employer, the Confederate Memorial Medical Center, weren't good enough to prove her identity, she said the officials told her. Neither were the two local black pastors i 3 7 i iVifvr1niifr ii 11 ii imiWr Blair seeks tough anti-terror laws THE ASSOCIATED PRESS LONDON Prime Minister Tony Blair proposed strict anti-terror measures Friday that would allow Britain to expel foreigners who preach hatred, close extremist mosques and bar entry to Muslim radicals. "The rules of the game are changing" following last month's bomb attacks, he declared.
The proposals, which also target extremist Web sites and bookshops, are aimed primarily at excluding radical Islamic clerics accused of whipping up hatred and violence among vulnerable, disenfranchised Muslim men. "We are angry about extremism and about what they are doing to our country, angry about their abuse of our good nature," Blair said. Also Friday, police charged three men with failing to disclose information about the whereabouts of a suspect in the failed July 21 London bomb attacks. Police did not name the suspect. Britain has been criticized for lagging behind its European neighbors in responding to terrorism.
Since last month's attacks, France has expelled two extremist Muslim prayer leaders and plans to ship home eight others. Italian authorities deported eight Palestinian imams. But passage of the Voting Rights Act didn't solve the problem of voter disen-franchisement among minorities right away. Civil rights groups say minority voting rights still aren't fully protected. They hope to strengthen the act when key provisions are renewed next year.
Among the provisions set to expire in 2007, unless renewed by Congress, is one that requires jurisdictions with large numbers of limited-English speakers with a low literacy rate to provide ballots and translation help. This affects seven New Jersey counties that have a large Spanish-speaking population: Cumberland, Middlesex, Hudson, Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Union. Although New Jersey has several counties with a substantial population of Asians who speak one language, they do not qualify for translation services because their literacy level is above the national average an education up to the fifth grade. A New York-based Asian legal aid group wants to change that. "In New York, Chicago and California, ballots are translated in Chinese," said Glenn Magpantay, a staff attorney with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, which is urging Congress to relax the requirements so Asian American voters benefit, too.
Among them would be Koreans, Asian Indians and Chinese in Bergen and Middlesex. Press staff writer Nirmal Mitra contributed to this report. Bryant brought along to vouch for her. Bryant was one of thousands of black Americans who fought for the right to cast ballots in the Ruth Bryant, 70, of Shreveport, was one of thousands of blacks in the 1950s and 1960s who led the fight to enact the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which became law 40 years ago today. (Gannett news service) The legislation, which became law 40 years ago today, is credited with changing the political map of the United States.
It forced the redrawing of political districts, making sure blacks, His-panics and other minority candidates had a chance to serve in political office. Key provisions of the act will expire in 2007 unless Congress renews them. It also eliminated poll taxes taxes levied as a requirement for voting and literacy tests, and it dispatched federal observers to areas with a history of 1950s and early 1960s. Many were beaten, or lost their jobs, or had their homes or businesses firebombed. Some were kidnapped and killed or were murdered in drive-by shootings.
"I was afraid." Bryant, 70, said. "But I wanted the right to vote. I felt I needed the right to vote." The violence of the civil rights struggle and courageous testimony from people like Bryant led to the approval of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, legislation that unlocked the polling booth doors..
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