Archive for Saturday, December 27, 2003

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December 27, 2003

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WASHINGTON, D.C.

U.S. wants to question people who didn't make L.A. flights

U.S. investigators want to speak with a small number of people in Paris who failed to show up for boarding flights to Los Angeles that fell under close scrutiny in a possible terrorist plot, including one pilot-trainee, a U.S. official said Friday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said investigators hope to resolve concerns that some passengers aboard those flights might have intended to use them to launch terror attacks against the United States.

Discussions between U.S. and French officials led to the cancellation of six Air France flights between Paris and Los Angeles on Wednesday and Thursday. U.S. officials also were talking to counterparts in other countries.

Massachusetts

Congressman voted out amid corruption scandal dies at 74

Former Congressman Nicholas Mavroules, who served seven terms in the U.S. House before being voted out of office during a corruption scandal that sent him to prison, has died. He was 74.

Mavroules died Thursday at Salem Hospital, according to Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home. The cause of his death was not immediately available.

Mavroules was re-elected six times, but he was voted out in 1992, the year he was indicted amid a federal investigation into alleged misuse of his office for private gain. Allegations included accepting illegal gifts and failing to report them on congressional disclosure and income tax forms.

Utah

Workers searching for people feared caught in avalanche

Rescue workers were searching for up to seven snowboarders believed to have been caught in an avalanche Friday, authorities said.

The avalanche occurred Friday afternoon in the Aspen Grove area of Provo Canyon, about 25 miles northeast of Provo.

Utah County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Dennis Harris said a snowshoer who witnessed the avalanche reported that several people did not appear to come out of it.

Rescue crews from Utah and Wasatch counties as well as workers from Sundance were searching for the snowboarders or trying to confirm their whereabouts, Harris said.

LONDON

Space scientists again fail to detect Mars probe signal

Space scientists failed in two more attempts Friday to confirm whether Europe's first probe to Mars had safely reached the Red Planet.

The efforts by a NASA spacecraft and later by a British observatory were the third and fourth attempts to track the tiny Beagle 2 lander, since it was to have arrived on Mars shortly before 9 p.m. CST Wednesday.

The probe -- designed to search for signs of life -- should have opened its solar panels and called home within a few hours. That didn't occur and scientists have been trying since to locate it.

The Stanford University radio telescope in California might be able to listen today, the agency said.

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