April 6, 2006 in Nation/World

Sept. 11 recording to be played at trial

The Spokesman-Review

The cockpit recording from the hijacked jetliner that passengers tried to retake on Sept. 11 will be played in public for the first time – at the sentencing trial of al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui – the judge ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said the jury considering whether to execute Moussaoui could hear the recording from United Airlines Flight 93 and see a transcript of it.

This cockpit tape was played privately April 18, 2002, for the families of Flight 93 victims, but it has never been played in public.

There has been debate over whether the hijackers intended to crash it into the U.S. Capitol or the White House. But last week the Moussaoui jury heard a government-approved summary of statements made during interrogation of the captured mastermind of Sept. 11, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who said it was to hit the Capitol.

South Bend, Ind.

Notre Dame’s head won’t ban events

The University of Notre Dame’s president said Wednesday that he will not ban two controversial events – the performance of “The Vagina Monologues” and a gay film festival – even if they might contradict Catholic teachings.

The Rev. John Jenkins’ decision comes about 10 weeks after he said he was considering restrictions on those events as part of a broader discussion of potential conflicts between academic freedom and the Roman Catholic university’s character.

However, Jenkins said Wednesday he generally will not allow fundraising or publicity that could imply the endorsement of views expressed during controversial events. He also said such events should include diverse discussions that include the Catholic viewpoint.

New Orleans

Officers accused of traffic stop beating

The New Orleans Police Department, its image already suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, is investigating new allegations of brutality: claims that three white officers beat the wife of a black officer this week.

The inquiry comes less than a week after two former officers – both white – were indicted on felonies in the French Quarter beating of a black retired teacher, violence caught by an Associated Press news crew covering the storm’s aftermath in October.

On Wednesday, Jonie Pratt had a black eye, a swollen forehead and a brace on her fractured left wrist. Pratt’s mother-in-law, Dulcie Scott, said the injuries were inflicted after police pulled Pratt over, saying she ran a stop sign.

Pratt is the wife of Desmond Pratt, a 10-year veteran of the Police Department, and sister of Officer Nancy Parker, a three-year member of the force.


Capitol Police case goes to grand jury

A federal grand jury will soon begin hearing evidence about Rep. Cynthia McKinney’s run-in with a Capitol Police officer, a lawyer familiar with the case said late Wednesday.

The lawyer, who declined to be identified because of grand jury secrecy, confirmed that federal prosecutors had agreed to get involved in the case in which a black lawmaker is accused of striking a white officer after he tried to stop her from entering a House office building without going through a security checkpoint.

Compiled from wire reports

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