Archive for Sunday, June 23, 2002

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June 23, 2002

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New York: FDNY tells firefighters to be wary of inquiries

The city's Fire Department has issued an internal memo warning firefighters not to give out information about the department, in response to e-mail inquiries from people at foreign universities about emergency procedures.

The memo cites a warning by the U.S. Fire Administration's Critical Infrastructure Protection Information Center not to give out any information that "could unintentionally assist the criminal activities of those who desire to harm our nation."

FDNY spokesman Frank Gribbon called it a general warning with no specific threat.

It was unclear which cities received the inquiries.

FBI spokesman Joe Valiquette would not comment on the memo.

Washington: Terror suspect's mother: Jailing turned son bitter

The mother of accused Sept. 11 accomplice Zacarias Moussaoui says her son grew up loving American movies and clothes, and only turned bitter against the United States after being jailed last summer.

"For me, he's not a killer, because he promised me that he didn't do anything," Aicha el-Wafi told CNN's "Larry King Live" in an interview to be aired today.

As a youngster, Moussaoui "loved American movies and he was always dressed with American-style clothes," she said.

Moussaoui, a French citizen of Moroccan descent, is charged with conspiring to commit terrorism, aircraft piracy, and destruction of aircraft, use weapons of mass destruction, murder U.S. government employees and destroy property.

St. Louis: Weather causing problems for global balloon attempt

American adventurer Steve Fossett had to slow down his Bud Light Spirit of Freedom balloon Saturday in the South Pacific to avoid "heavy and dangerous" storm fronts.

"You know, my chances of a successful flight almost collapsed this morning when the weather changed," he said in a message e-mailed to his Mission Control in St. Louis .

The storms forced Fossett off course and brought his balloon and its pace down considerably.

As recently as early Saturday, he was riding a jet stream that was carrying him at speeds up to 90.8 mph. Saturday night, his balloon was traveling at speeds as low as 21.7 mph at an altitude of just 900 feet.

Since beginning his mission Tuesday from western Australia, Fossett has flown about 5,400 miles.

New York: Enron manipulation reported

Houston-based Enron Corp. used undisclosed reserves to keep up to $1.5 billion in trading profits off its books during the California energy crisis, The New York Times reported today.

The reserves, which would have doubled the company's reported profits, were hidden in late 2000 and early 2001, as energy prices soared in California, the newspaper reported.

The Times quoted six former managers and executives who said Enron manipulated the reserves to help it report steady profit growth to Wall Street and credit rating agencies.

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