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Passengers say marshal pointed gun at cabin



Published: Mon, September 2, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Passengers say marshalpointed gun at cabin

PHILADELPHIA -- A federal air marshal pointed a gun towards passengers on a flight from Atlanta to Philadelphia for about 30 minutes Saturday while detaining an unruly passenger, travelers said.

Passengers on Delta Flight 442 said that one marshal kept his weapon pointed at the coach cabin while the other huddled over the detainee, who was released after the plane landed.

"He had the cockpit door to his back, and he is pointing his weapon toward the tail" said Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge James A. Lineberger. The marshal "had the cabin folks under siege," he said.

Federal prosecutors declined to charge the detainee after discussing the incident with the marshals, FBI spokeswoman Jerri Williams said Saturday. She wouldn't release his name or elaborate on the incident.

Transportation Security Administration spokesman David Steigman said air marshals "dealt with a passenger who was acting in an odd and obstreperous manner." He refused to say whether the marshal pointed a gun.

Anthrax investigatorsstep up search for clues

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The number of FBI agents and scientists investigating the quarantined former headquarters of The National Enquirer increased Sunday as they searched for clues in last fall's anthrax attacks.

The largest team of investigators since the operation started at American Media Inc.'s offices entered the building Sunday morning and planned to work for 12 hours, police officer Jeff Kelly said.

Officials wouldn't say exactly how many people were inside the building or if any evidence had been found since crews wearing protective "moon suits" re-entered the building Friday for the first time since the contamination last fall.

The investigation is to continue until Sept. 11.

The teams hope to find a letter or package that carried the anthrax bacteria into the building and fatally infected photo editor Bob Stevens. FBI investigators also want to compare anthrax spores with spores found in letters sent to the Washington offices of Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Tom Daschle of South Dakota.

Israelis apologizefor civilian deaths

JERUSALEM -- Israeli soldiers, saying they had been warned of an attack, shot and killed four Palestinians near a Jewish settlement's vineyard in the West Bank on Sunday. The shootings brought the weekend Palestinian death toll to 12, including two children and several other civilians.

Senior Israeli officials apologized for the loss of civilian lives, while Palestinians and some Israelis charged the army has lost its sense of restraint in its drive to crush the Palestinian uprising.

"Our hearts are full of sorrow," said Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. He called the civilian deaths "very regrettable" and said he was sure military officials "will take every necessary step to prevent it from happening again."

The army said the four Palestinians killed Sunday were trying to cut through a fence near the settlement of Kiryat Arba, outside Hebron. It said its soldiers had been warned that four Palestinians would attempt an attack in the area and opened fire when they saw the men. The four were killed near the settlement's vineyard, settlers and Palestinian witnesses said.

But Palestinian witnesses said the men were laborers in a nearby stone quarry who were shot without provocation.

Cathedral to openamid abuse scandal

LOS ANGELES -- The 25-ton bronze doors of Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral will swing open today to the first dedication of a new U.S. cathedral in a quarter century. But in the background, economic concerns and a continuing sex abuse scandal loom large for the Catholic Church.

Protesters angered by the church's handling of sex abuse allegations are expected among the thousands of priests and visitors during the dedication ceremony Monday outside the cathedrals' thick, adobe-colored walls.

Cardinal Roger Mahony, the leader of the nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese, said the landmark cathedral, like the Catholic Church itself, will rise above the turmoil.

The $195 million cathedral -- intentionally a foot longer than New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral -- is Spanish architect Rafael Moneo's postmodern interpretation of California's original Spanish missions, including sloping floors, high ceilings and muted tapestries that depict saints and worshippers.

Associated Press




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