Archive for Friday, April 6, 2001

Nation briefs

April 6, 2001



Flight to Japan turned back by Russia

A Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to Japan was forced to return to the United States after Russian air traffic controllers said it did not have permission to fly through their airspace.

Flight 55, carrying 203 passengers and 15 crew members, was about 20 minutes into Russian airspace when the controllers notified pilots the flight lacked proper clearance, said an airlines spokesman.

Some 9 1/2 hours into the flight, the plane had to turn around and fly 5 1/2 more hours to recross the Pacific and land in San Francisco early Thursday morning.

Frustrated passengers from the aborted flight were given hotel rooms and a $6 meal voucher. They got a few hours of sleep and were rebooked on other flights to Japan starting Thursday morning.

"Basically, I could have driven here a lot faster if I had a car," passenger Bill Reilly said as he left the plane in San Francisco.


Computer security lax, Congress told

Foreign hackers increasingly are breaking into U.S. government computers that are so insecure someone could steal valuable research or Medicare patients' records, lawmakers were told Thursday.

Thirty-two federal agencies reported 155 computers were taken over temporarily by hackers last year, government officials disclosed. Three-quarters of hacking attempts involved foreign attackers, they said.

"I think it would come as quite a surprise for most Americans to learn the extent to which these federal civilian agencies are the target of attacks by foreign and domestic sources bent on espionage or other malicious actions," Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., said.

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