Archive for Sunday, September 23, 2001

Nation Briefs

September 23, 2001

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WASHINGTON: Bush signs airline bailout

President Bush signed a $15 billion aid package Saturday for the nation's airline industry, which has suffered mounting economic losses since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The legislation "will provide urgently needed tools to assure the safety and immediate stability of our nation's commercial airline system," Bush said in a statement.

The signing came less than 24 hours after the House voted, 356-54, to complete congressional approval of the legislation. It had cleared the Senate, 96-1 earlier Friday.

The legislation contains $5 billion in immediate grants to airlines for losses suffered from the grounding of flights and the subsequent drop in passengers after the hijacking of jets that crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

PHOENIX: Thousands mourn Sikh killed in post-terror attack

Nearly 3,000 people gathered Saturday to remember Balbir Singh Sodhi, an Indian immigrant killed in what police say was a hate crime that followed the terrorist attacks.

"My father had a lot of friends, but no enemies. The word hatred was not in his vocabulary at all, but he ended up falling from the bullet of hate," said Sodhi's son, Sukhwinder Singh.

Sodhi, who like many male Sikhs had long facial hair and wore a turban, was killed during a Sept. 15 shooting spree that authorities said targeted the victims because of their race.

Frank Silva Roque, 42, an aircraft mechanic at Boeing, is charged with first-degree murder, four counts of attempted murder and three counts of drive-by shooting. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bond.

NEW YORK: Telethon's audience approaches 60 million

Nearly 60 million people in the United States watched Hollywood's finest pay tribute to real-life heroes during an unprecedented benefit for victims of the terrorist attacks.

The telethon was shown Friday night on more than 30 networks, including the six biggest broadcasters ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, UPN and the WB. It was seen in an estimated 210 countries.

The 59.3 million people who watched on a Friday normally one of the least-watched nights of the week compares to the 80 million or so who watched the Super Bowl or news coverage the night of the attacks on Sept. 11, Nielsen Media Research said Saturday.

Organizers said Saturday they won't know until at least Monday how much money was raised to help the World Trade Center and Pentagon attack victims.

NEW YORK: Treasure beneath ruins

More than $240 million worth of gold and silver lie hidden deep beneath what's left of the World Trade Center.

The gold and silver bars back up contracts that trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange, or NYMEX.

The vaults that house the metals are under World Trade Center 4, a building that did not collapse but has suffered damage.

The Canadian company that operates the vaults said the gold and silver are secure.

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