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Archive for Sunday, December 9, 2001

Briefly

December 9, 2001

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Pakistan: Crowd beats journalist traveling near Afghanistan

A British correspondent for The Independent newspaper of London was badly beaten by a crowd Saturday while traveling to the border with southern Afghanistan.

Robert Fisk, 55, said assailants surrounded him and beat him with stones and fists in the village of Kila Abdullah, on the road between Quetta and the border town of Chaman. He suffered two deep gashes in his forehead, one in the back of his head and bruises on his back.

Many of the villagers were believed to be Afghan refugees, some of whom had lost relatives in U.S. bombing in Afghanistan.

Washington: Public tours resume at U.S. Capitol complex

Neither rain, nor cold, nor fear of anthrax could keep several hundred visitors from the Capitol for the first public tours Saturday in almost two months.

The tours were suspended after an aide to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle opened a letter containing anthrax on Oct. 15. Some buildings in the Capitol complex were closed to decontaminate for anthrax, and one still is shuttered.

Capitol Police said the tours were halted so they could put in place new security checks.

Police required visitors to walk through a metal detector and have their bags X-rayed in a trailer outside the building.

Tourists no longer can wander around the Capitol by themselves. Group tours now are capped at 25 people, half what they once were.

New York: Christmas tree brings cheer for Ground Zero workers

The glow of a Christmas tree trimmed with angels and flags is bringing more than just holiday cheer to workers at the smoking ruins of the World Trade Center it's making life bearable again.

Hundreds of workers at Ground Zero took a momentary break Friday night to watch the lighting ceremony of the 30-foot tree and sing Christmas carols.

The tree was topped with an American flag and adorned with thousands of angels bearing the names of the more than 3,000 people killed or missing on Sept. 11. It was lit by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani with help from

children of the victims.

New York: Report: Hijack leader Atta visited NY before attacks

Mohamed Atta, suspected ringleader of the Sept. 11 terrorist hijackings, rented rooms in New York City in the spring of 2000 with another hijacker, a federal investigator said.

Authorities learned of their stay in New York while retracing the hijackers' steps prior to the attacks, according to the investigator, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Neither official would elaborate on Atta's activities in New York or identify the hijacker who accompanied him.

Atta has emerged as a central figure among the hijackers. In the months before the terror attacks he was seen in Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, California and Nevada with the men who went on to hijack four jetliners on Sept. 11.

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