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Archive for Friday, September 14, 2001

Briefly

September 14, 2001

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Washington, D.C.

Reservist call-up planned

The Pentagon plans to call several thousand reservists to active duty in the next few days in what defense officials said Thursday would likely mark the start of a much larger military mobilization in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist strikes.

The initial call-up will focus on reservists with "specialized skills," according to a senior military official. He said many of the extra personnel were necessary to support combat air patrols over major metropolitan areas instituted this week.

They will fill out the ranks of pilots, aviation maintenance crews and air traffic controllers. The Pentagon has the authorization to call about 40,000 reservists, the official said.

New York

Speedy trials suspended

Gov. George Pataki Thursday issued an order suspending speedy trial rules in certain criminal and civil cases.

"This suspension will provide some comfort to individuals and businesses whose work has been disrupted by the cowardly and despicable attack on the World Trade Center," Pataki said in a statement announcing the executive order.

Under Section 30.30 of the New York State Penal Law, prosecutors are mandated to be ready to try defendants within six months of their arrest on felony charges. The deadline ranges from 30 days for a violation to 90 days for a Class A misdemeanor.

One court official, who asked not be identified, said Pataki's order was appropriate. "Why should the state be penalized when we don't have jurors or police officers and we can't go forward?" the official said.

Jury trials have been suspended in New York City since the disaster.

New York

NYC primary rescheduled

The Legislature voted Thursday to reschedule the state's primary election to Sept. 25.

Voting had begun Tuesday to determine the Democratic and Republican candidates for New York City mayor but balloting was suspended because of terrorist attacks. Other primaries around the state were also postponed.

The bill sets Oct. 11 as the day for runoff elections in New York City, if necessary.

Ballots cast on Tuesday will not count but absentee ballots will be considered valid.

Dallas

Claims on insurance could reach $40 billion

The worldwide insurance industry is bracing to pay between $25 billion and $40 billion in property and injury claims related to Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

But because thousands of lawsuits are almost certain, existing policies probably won't cover all the bills, and in the end the insurers also may not be the only parties who pay.

An array of other entities including airlines, government agencies and even taxpayers will likely have to cover major parts of the damages. But which parts and for how much may not be known for years, experts say.

Along the way, there will l ikely be scores of high stakes legal skirmishes to determine the liability of the airlines and the federal government, whether the attack was an act of terrorism or an act of war, and how much insurance carriers should be required to cover.

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