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Archive for Monday, November 26, 2001

Briefly

November 26, 2001

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Washington, D.C.

Freed aid workers in U.S.

Two American aid workers who were jailed by the Taliban in Afghanistan arrived Sunday at a Washington area airport amid cheers and tearful hugs from family and friends.

Heather Mercer, 24, and Dayna Curry, 30, both graduates of the Baptist-affiliated Baylor University in Waco, Tex., spent three months in Taliban captivity before their release Nov. 15.

They are to meet with President Bush this morning at the White House.

The women, who had worked with the German-based Shelter Now International, were arrested Aug. 5 on charges of attempting to convert Muslim Afghans to Christianity.

Washington, D.C.

Leahy says anthrax letter could have killed 100,000

Sen. Patrick Leahy says there was enough anthrax in the letter sent to his office to kill more than 100,000 people.

The letter to the Vermont Democrat was discovered Nov. 16 in a batch of unopened mail sent to Capitol Hill and quarantined since the discovery of an anthrax-contaminated letter to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., on Oct. 15.

"We still haven't got the letter open," Leahy said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "It is so powerful that they're having difficulty figuring out how best to open it and preserve the evidence."

An FBI microbiologist said last week that there were billions of spores inside the letter.

Egypt

Arab League plans campaign to boost image of Muslims

Dozens of intellectuals from around the Middle East will meet this week in Cairo to discuss ways to counter a "defamation campaign" against Muslims in the West following the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said the two-day meeting aims to produce an action plan to be submitted for Arab League leaders' approval when they meet in March in Beirut, Lebanon.

The meeting beginning today is the first of its kind under the Arab League's auspices. Seventy-three people from 18 Middle Eastern nations will attend.

"Accusations have been hurled against every one of us and defamation campaigns have touched all of us," said Moussa, adding that the envisaged plan would chart ways to protect Arab communities in the West and work through the Internet, universities and the media to improve Islam's image.

New York City

NYSE bans lunch deliveries

The New York Stock Exchange has banned food deliveries to its floor, according to a published report.

Traders now must leave the building or send a clerk to retrieve their food, passing it through an X-ray machine outside the exchange as they return, The New York Times reported Sunday.

The change was made because of concerns that a delivery person could easily slip a bomb into a sandwich bag that could elude the X-ray machines and bomb-sniffing dogs already surrounding the building, The Times reported.

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