Archive for Sunday, December 8, 2002

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December 8, 2002

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Florida: Scrubbed-down cruise ship makes its way back to sea

The Disney Magic departed on a Caribbean cruise Saturday after a weeklong disinfection in an attempt to stop a stomach virus that had sickened hundreds on two earlier trips.

The Magic has been in dock since Disney canceled its Nov. 30 cruise and crew members tried to clean every surface. About 275 people developed a virus on the Magic's last cruise, and about 120 people reported the illness on its previous sail.

More than 1,000 passengers aboard ships from Holland America Line's Amsterdam, Carnival Cruise Lines' Fascination and the Magic have become sick in recent weeks, despite disinfection and cleaning efforts.

Washington, D.C.: Congressional panel to seek intelligence czar for Cabinet

The leaders of the joint congressional intelligence committee investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks are expected to recommend the appointment of a Cabinet-level intelligence czar, government officials said.

Their report also will likely recommend that the CIA and Justice Department conduct a one-year study of the creation of a separate domestic intelligence agency, during which time the FBI would be given a last chance to remake itself into a force capable of collecting intelligence on domestic terror groups.

Intelligence officials said the report's draft findings included harsh criticism of the principle intelligence agencies, mainly the CIA and FBI, that are responsible for tracking and thwarting terrorism.

Philippines: Suspect in beheading captured by military

Philippine soldiers captured a Muslim extremist allegedly involved in the kidnapping and beheading of an American hostage last year, an army commander said Saturday.

Abu Baidar, an alleged member of the Abu Sayyaf group, was captured Friday, Basilan army commander Col. Bonifacio Ramos said.

Ramos said Baidar was suspected of participating in the raid on the Dos Palmas resort in May 2001, when the Abu Sayyaf seized 20 people, including three Americans - Guillermo Sobero of Corona, Calif., and missionary couple Gracia and Martin Burnham of Wichita, Kan.

The rebels beheaded Sobero on June 12, 2001.

New York: 'Old Gray Lady' to print pulled Augusta columns

The New York Times has decided to publish revised versions of two previously rejected sports columns about the Augusta National Golf Club's men-only membership policy.

Executive editor Howell Raines said the paper's editors had asked the writers, Dave Anderson and Harvey Araton, to resubmit their work and reassured them their opinions were not at issue, The Times reported Saturday.

The columns were scheduled to run today.

Last week, the Daily News reported the Times had killed the columns because they disagreed with the stance taken by the newspaper's editorial page.

Under Raines, the Times has devoted extensive coverage to Augusta's refusal to accept women as members.

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