Archive for Sunday, March 16, 2003


March 16, 2003


Beijing: Top-level communist named China premier

The third-ranking member of China's Communist Party was appointed today to be its next premier, assuming control of a fast-changing economy that has carried the country to new heights and created staggering problems during two decades of reform.

Wen Jiabao, 60, replaces the retiring Zhu Rongji.

The vote was 2,906 for Wen and three against, with 16 abstentions.

The legislature, the National People's Congress, approved Wen's elevation as the final rubber-stamp personnel appointment of a generational leadership transition in China's government.

Wen, the odds-on favorite for more than a year, becomes the country's top economic official. He made no public remarks after his appointment.

On Saturday, party leader Hu Jintao was elevated to president and other top communist officials took top government posts in a transition years in the making.

Seattle: Traveler with antiwar signs finds complaint in luggage

An airline passenger who had two "No War with Iraq" signs in his suitcase says the federal security agent who opened his luggage inserted a note criticizing his "anti-American attitude."

"I found it chilling and a little Orwellian to have received this message," said Seth Goldberg, 41, of Cranbury, N.J.

Federal Transportation Security Administration officials are investigating.

Goldberg says that after a March 2 flight from Seattle to San Diego, he opened his bag and found a card notifying him that TSA had opened and searched it.

A handwritten note on the card said: "Don't appreciate your anti-American attitude!"

If a TSA employee placed the note, "we will take appropriate and swift action," TSA spokesman Brian Turmail said Saturday from Washington, D.C.

North Carolina: Three killed in plane crash

A small plane crashed in a heavily wooded area of the North Carolina mountains, killing a couple and their daughter, authorities said Saturday.

The plane left Asheville Regional Airport under cloudy skies just after noon Friday. A flight instructor said the pilot, 63-year-old James Davis, was licensed to fly only in clear weather.

Davis, of Setauket, N.Y., his wife, Francie, and daughter Amanda were killed when the Cessna 177 crashed in a heavily wooded area of Old Fort Mountain in McDowell County, said Maj. Jeff Willis of the Civil Air Patrol.

The Davises had been on a book tour for Amanda Davis' first novel, "Wonder When You'll Miss Me."

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