Archive for Sunday, October 20, 2002

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October 20, 2002

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Washington, D.C.: Court upholds Clinton's monument designations

A federal appeals court upheld former President Clinton's orders protecting 2 million acres of federal land in five Western states through creation of national monuments.

In a ruling Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed lower-court rulings that dismissed challenges to Clinton's designation of the monuments under the 1906 Antiquities Act. The law allows presidents to act without congressional approval to safeguard objects of historic and scientific interest.

The monuments are in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

Timber interests, recreation groups, governmental entities and a public interest law firm argued Clinton exceeded his authority in creating the monuments.

Washington, D.C.: Indonesia trips risky, government warns

The State Department on Saturday urged Americans to put off any planned trips to Indonesia and warned that terrorists there may be plotting more attacks against foreigners.

The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta has received information indicating extremist groups may target American interests in Indonesia, particularly U.S. government officials and facilities.

"The attack in Bali, which took place in an area with a large number of foreign tourists, clearly indicates that this threat also extends to private American citizens," the department said in a statement.

The car bomb that exploded on the resort island of Bali Oct. 12 killed more than 180 people and forced Indonesia's government to acknowledge for the first time that Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network is active in the southeast Asian archipelago.

New Jersey: Removed passengers allowed to sue airline

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a discrimination lawsuit by two men who were removed from a Continental Airlines flight on New Year's Eve when a passenger complained about "brown-skinned men."

The Houston-based airline sought dismissal, arguing its employees have authority to bar passengers who might be "inimical to safety" under a federal law. The airline also said another law gives them broad protection in reporting "suspicious activity."

U.S. District Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise disagreed. He did not rule on the merit of the passengers' claims, only that they deserve a chance to prove that unlawful bias was the reason for their removal.

The case involves Michael Dasrath, an American citizen born in Guyana who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Edgardo Cureg, a permanent resident from the Philippines who lives in Tampa, Fla.

California: Search continues for downed Navy pilots

The U.S. Coast Guard continued to search the ocean Saturday for four Navy pilots missing after two fighter jets collided during an exercise Friday.

Two cutters looked for the pilots through the night, and Saturday an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter was sent to aid the search about 80 miles southwest of Monterey, Coast Guard spokeswoman Veronica Bandrowski said.

"We'll continue to search until all probability of survival has been exhausted," she said.

Computer-aided search programs, which calculate sea changes, wind and other factors, are guiding searchers over about 40 square miles where the pilots may have drifted.

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