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Archive for Saturday, September 22, 2001

Nation Briefs

September 22, 2001

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Detroit: FBI: Federal agent's death not related to attacks

A man carrying a handgun in a paper bag fatally shot a federal officer at a security checkpoint Friday when he was told he could not take the gun into the building housing the FBI, authorities said.

The gunman then was shot and seriously wounded, authorities said.

The man entered the lobby of the Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building and put the bag on a counter by the metal detector, FBI spokeswoman Dawn Clenney said. After his request to take the gun inside was refused, he reached in the bag and fired.

Killed was 36-year-old Ronald C. Sheffield, the FBI said. There was no indication the shooting was related to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, Clenney said.

New York: FAA grounded Rushdie ahead of terrorist attacks

In the days before the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, security concerns caused the Federal Aviation Authority to ban fatwa-cursed author Salman Rushdie from boarding any flights into or out of the United States, The New York Post reported.

Rushdie whose scathing indictment of Islamic fundamentalism in his 1989 novel "The Satanic Verses" moved the Ayatollah Khomeini to offer an award to anyone who could kill the writer was set to begin a book tour in New York for his latest effort, "Fury," when the order came down Sept. 7, according to Inside.com.

The controversial author was in Houston when the terrorists struck.

New York: Backstreet Boy backtracks

Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys apologized Thursday in New York for what he called "insensitive" statements made last week in an interview with a Canadian television channel.

Last week, Richardson told Canada's MuchMusic after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., "I just think we are a little bit of an arrogant nation, and maybe this is a little bit of a humbling experience. What has our government done to provoke this action that we don't know about?"

Thursday, Richardson told WHTZ-FM: "What I meant by arrogant is that we've been a little overconfident; we've maybe taken our freedom for granted, taken our security for granted. And I just want to clarify myself. I apologize if I have offended anyone, any of the families of the victims, if my statement seemed insensitive, but I was reacting out of anger and out of frustration, and I was emotional.

"I don't want anyone to think that I don't love this country I'm proud to be an American. I just want to clear that up."

Los Angeles: Attacks 'devastate' Hope

Ninety-eight-year-old entertainer Bob Hope, who's recuperating at home after a recent bout with pneumonia, has been glued to a TV set for the latest developments in last week's terrorist attacks.

"He's absolutely devastated by it. The country is in his heart. I know of no more patriotic person than Bob Hope," spokesman Ward Grant said Thursday. "Like the rest of the men and women and children in the United States, he's glued to the television set and the news."

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