hCiting threats, schoolcancels Sharpton visit
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks at Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal Church in Corpus Christi. His appearance at a Corpus Christi high school for Black History Month was canceled as a safety precaution after the school received threats. He spoke at the church instead.
Sharpton spokeswoman Rachel Noerdlinger said the civil rights activist would not be deterred by threats that school officials said they received this week.
He had been scheduled to appear at Miller High School but instead spoke Friday afternoon at the church.
Sharpton formally filed papers last month seeking the Democratic Party's nomination for the 2004 presidential race. He has also run for New York City mayor and the U.S. Senate.
Mary Kelley, chief of staff for the Corpus Christi Independent School District, said some callers made references to the KKK, which is planning a March 1 rally in the area.
There was no proof the callers really were from the Klan, Kelley said, but the threats of bombings, shootings and harm to students and staff were "very real."
"It has nothing to do with censorship," Kelley said. "You have to err on the side of safety." Miller High was evacuated twice Thursday and searched because of the threats and also declared a lockdown for Friday.
Barge leaks heating oilinto Long Island Sound
NORWALK, Conn. -- A barge hauling home heating oil scraped bottom in the Long Island Sound early Friday and leaked an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 gallons, the Coast Guard said.
The barge, which was being towed by a tug, gashed its hull shortly before 2 a.m. about two miles south of Norwalk, the Coast Guard said. Several cargo tanks were damaged.
Norwalk Harbormaster Michael Griffin said the slick covered about 5,000 square yards. The barge was in an area of the sound that was 18 feet deep, officials said. Griffin said the oil probably would not wash ashore in Connecticut but could end up on the north shore of New York's Long Island.
Officials circled the barge and tug with 5,000 feet of floating anti-pollutant boom by mid-afternoon, but some of the oil was being carried away by the current.
"The difficulty here is that the oil is not contained. It's in open water," Griffin said.
Safety officers honored
WASHINGTON -- It's been almost two years since Keith Borders, a Las Vegas police officer, was shot in the head as he used his body to shield a woman from gunfire as she fought with her boyfriend.
On Friday, Borders became one of the first recipients of the nation's highest award for valor by a public safety officer, as Vice President Dick Cheney and Attorney General John Ashcroft praised him and nine others for risking their lives to save others in the line of duty.
The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Award, created by Congress in May 2001, is awarded to police, fire and emergency medical officers who show courage beyond the call of duty to save or protect human life.
The recipients of the 2002 award are Borders; Robert Giorgio, fire chief, Cherry Hill, N.J.; Eric Svihovec, volunteer firefighter, Miller Place, N.Y.; Sean VanAtter, firefighter, Hillsborough County, Fla.; and Ron Kennett, Rick Klein, Robert Borer, Mike Wright, Guy Jones and Jeremy Hosek, firefighters, Lincoln, Neb.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Another terror suspect held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba tried to hang himself, the 16th attempted suicide there since detentions began last year, the Pentagon said Friday.
It was also the sixth attempt in the past four weeks at the naval base in eastern Cuba, where a new psychiatric wing is set to open next month.
The detainee tried to hang himself in "the last couple days," Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Barbara Burfeind said. She said the detainee was fine and back in his cell, being monitored to prevent further attempts.
Amnesty International has demanded an investigation into the wave of suicide attempts, suggesting harsh interrogations may be to blame. U.S. officials insist the questioning is humane.