system gains attention with jokes
WASHINGTON (AP) Homeland security
chief Tom Ridge jokingly responded to recent parodies of the federal
governments color-coded guide to the terrorist threats, saying
theres more to it than him dipping into a bag of M&Ms
to determine the color of the day.
assure you theres a little more science to it than that,
Ridge told a meeting
of local and regional leaders Monday.
far from being upset by gags on television and in newspaper cartoons,
Ridge said making Americans aware of the new alert system is important,
no matter how that is accomplished.
grateful for all this attention, he said. We needed
a system that communicated in a common vocabulary about the level
came to the meeting to emphasize that his office depends on close
coordination and planning among local, state and federal officials
to make the United States more secure
cousin considers lieutenant governor position
BOSTON (AP) A cousin of President
Bush, insurance consultant Jamie Bush, says hes considering
a run for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts.
think it would mean that we would see tremendous growth in the Republican
Party, not just because of the name, but because thats a priority
for me, Jamie Bush said in a telephone interview Monday. Its
a priority of (GOP gubernatorial candidate) Mitt Romney also. I
think a combination of the two names not just my name
would be good for Massachusetts.
46, of Hingham, is the son of Prescott S. Bush Jr., brother of former
president George H. W. Bush. Romney was chief of the Salt Lake City
said he wanted to explore how much support he has within the Republican
Party before officially entering the race. He expects to make a
decision by the end of this week.
running for lieutenant governor are businessman James Rappaport
and former Melrose mayor Patrick Guerriero, whom acting Gov. Jane
Swift had picked as her running mate before she dropped out of the
race last week.
state GOP convention is scheduled for April 6.
Mexico wildfire destroys 28 homes
ALTO, N.M. (AP) Bare chimneys
stood amid burned rubble and twisted metal in an affluent mountain
subdivision where a fast-moving wildfire destroyed 28 homes.
firefighters mopped up hot spots Monday, some of the hundreds of
people who fled at the height of the fire emergency Saturday began
returning to see if their homes survived.
blaze in the mountains of southern New Mexico slowed significantly
and was 60 percent contained, said Terri Wildermuth, state Forestry
expecting very little fire behavior today (Monday) because of lower
winds, lower temperatures and higher humidity, she said.
No one had been injured.
Gary Johnson said the blaze started Saturday when a resident dumped
fireplace ash in the back yard, mistakenly thinking the ashes were
gusts of up to 50 mph pushed the flames, but the wind died down
crash victims families will hear cockpit recording
WASHINGTON (AP) Relatives of the
40 passengers and crew killed Sept. 11 aboard hijacked United Airlines
Flight 93, which crashed in rural Pennsylvania, will be allowed
to hear the cockpit recordings during a single, private listening
session next month, the FBI says.
highly unusual decision was approved personally by FBI Director
Robert Mueller, an FBI official, speaking on condition of anonymity,
confirmed Monday. Families have been asking the FBI to let them
hear what transpired in the cockpit after some passengers apparently
rushed the hijackers with the cry, Lets roll!
FBI official confirmed that families of the crash victims will be
allowed to listen to the audio recordings in Princeton, N.J., on
April 18. The flight, which crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pa.,
had departed earlier in the day from Newark, N.J., for San Francisco.
It had turned mid-flight and apparently was headed toward Washington
when it went down with four hijackers aboard.
National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates aviation
accidents, has never allowed relatives to listen to the cockpit
tapes, spokesman Ted Lopatkiewicz said. Under federal law, the safety
board cant release the tapes and can only give out transcripts
during a public hearing or when a majority of factual reports on
the crash are completed, Lopatkiewicz said.
Roll unveiled on decal on F-16 fighter jet
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP)
As Flight 93 widow Lisa Beamer watched, the Air National Guard on
Monday unveiled a star-spangled nose decal emblazoned with Todd
Beamers famous fighting words, Lets roll,
on an F-16 fighter jet.
honored that you would use Todds words as a rallying cry for
our war against terrorism, Beamers widow said. When
I hear those words, I think of the grit and determination Todd and
his fellow passengers had.
decal has already been applied to select aircraft throughout the
Air Force and Air National Guard.
Beamer, 32, telephoned from the hijacked United flight Sept. 11
and said Lets roll! before he and other passengers
apparently confronted the terrorists. The plane crashed into the
Pennsylvania countryside, killing all 44 people on board.
parks plagued by lack of funds and pollution
WASHINGTON (AP) Mountain views
in some of the countrys signature national parks are clouded
by air pollution, while historical monuments are crumbling for lack
of cash, a park advocacy group said.
National Parks Conservation Association on Monday released its annual
list of Americas Ten Most Endangered National Parks.
National Preserve in California is among the newcomers to this years
list. Among the problems cited: water drained by nearby development,
illegal wildlife poaching and habitat damage from off-road vehicles.
list also includes Yellowstone National Park, the countrys
first park, and Federal Hall National Monument in New York, the
lower Manhattan site where George Washington was sworn in as president.
Although our national parks are protected on paper, the dangers
they face continue to multiply, said Thomas Kiernan, president
of the conservation association. Our national parks need to
be protected and fully funded, and the parks must be freed from
the burdens of encroaching development and air and water pollution.
said President Bushs proposal to increase funding for national
parks is a good start, but more is needed.