Archive for Saturday, November 3, 2001


November 3, 2001


Florida: Government's terror focus turns to nation's seaports

The nation's seaports, longed viewed as a security sieve, are starting to get some of the attention that airports received immediately after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

As hundreds of National Guardsmen prepare to start protecting Florida's ports in less than a week, a bill has been introduced in Congress that calls for spending $1.16 billion over five years to beef up U.S. port security. The Senate could take up that measure next week.

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., likened ports to the American icons that Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida group is believed to have singled out.

Alaska: Letters to Santa Claus still will be opened

Yes Virginia, Santa Claus still wants your letter.

As many as 60,000 letters to Santa arrive each year in the small Alaska town of North Pole, where volunteers answer them on behalf of the jolly old elf.

Postal staffers in Alaska had worried about how they would handle so much mail this year while dealing with the anthrax threat. They feared they might have to leave the letters unopened.

But Postal Service officials decided Thursday to let the tradition continue.

NEW YORK: Firefighters protest cuts in recovery worker force

Hundreds of firefighters marched to ground zero and City Hall on Friday, some scuffling with police, in an emotional protest over Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's decision to scale back the number of workers searching for remains.

Eleven firefighters and a union official were arrested.

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said the high number of workers digging amid heavy equipment had become increasingly dangerous. The new policy limits to 25 the number of firefighters working at the site.

Firefighters say comrades are buried in the rubble and they want enough firefighters on the scene to be able to recover the remains and treat them with dignity.

SAN FRANCISCO: Western states on alert

National Guardsmen with M-16s and Humvees patrolled the Golden Gate and other California bridges Friday, and traffic across the spans was lighter than usual as a warning of terrorist attacks shifted the nation's anxiety from the East Coast to the West.

Gov. Gray Davis went public Thursday with the FBI's warning that suspension bridges across the West could be targets over the next few days.

There were no reported problems at the four bridges Davis named: the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the Vincent Thomas Bridge at the Port of Los Angeles and San Diego's Coronado Bridge.

Davis shocked many commuters and some law enforcement officials with his announcement that the government had "credible evidence" that terrorists may be plotting to attack California bridges.

The FBI later confirmed the threat but said it was uncorroborated.

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