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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Man, son linked to al Qaeda camp

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Lodi, Calif. A terrorism probe in this quiet farming town has led to the arrest of a father and his son, who said he trained at an al Qaeda camp in Pakistan and planned to attack U.S. hospitals and supermarkets, authorities said.

Investigators believe a number of people committed to al Qaeda have been operating in and around Lodi, about 30 miles south of Sacramento, an FBI agent said Wednesday.

Investigators did not have information about specific plans for an attack. The father and son were charged with lying to agents about the son’s training at the camp. Three local Muslims were detained on immigration charges.

Mock-terror exercise tests military, police

Washington Mock bombs and armed assaults at the Pentagon on Wednesday capped what officials described as the largest and most complex terrorism-response exercise ever held at the nation’s military headquarters.

The exercise, designed to test the response of military, police and emergency services to a terror attack at several nearby locations, was code-named Gallant Fox III. It involved more than 20 agencies.

Volunteers from the American Red Cross played victims, their screams echoing at the Pentagon’s bus terminal Wednesday morning.

The attack began with armed terrorists assaulting the Pentagon and taking hostages, while their associates bombed a bus nearby.

Two pilots convicted in work drinking case

Miami Two former America West pilots were convicted Wednesday of being drunk in the cockpit the morning after an all-night drinking binge at a sports bar.

The pilots face a minimum of probation and a maximum of five years in prison after being found guilty of operating an aircraft while drunk.

Defendants Thomas Cloyd, 47, and Christopher Hughes, 44, were arrested July 1, 2002, as their Phoenix-bound jet was being pushed back from its gate at Miami International Airport.

The pilots had 14 beers between them about six hours before their flight was to depart. The pilots said they weren’t operating the plane because the Airbus 319 was being pushed by a runway tug.

Counselor must stop withholding records

Denver A federal judge on Wednesday refused to shield a civilian rape counselor from arrest for her refusal to turn over a patient’s records in an Air Force rape case headed for court-martial.

A military judge issued an arrest warrant last month for Jennifer Bier, who defied a subpoena for the records of an alleged victim of a lieutenant charged with sexual assault.

In denying Bier’s request for an injunction barring her arrest, a U.S. District judge said the defendant’s right to a fair trial trumps Bier’s claim of patient confidentiality. Bier said she will not turn over the records.

NASA works to ready launch of Discovery

Webster, Texas NASA still has not met three of 15 recommendations to return a shuttle to space following the Columbia disaster, but a task group overseeing the effort said Wednesday it hopes to complete its work in time for a July launch.

Before NASA sends Discovery into orbit, it must eliminate potential debris from the external fuel tank and finish hardening the shuttle’s exterior, Return to Flight Task Group said Wednesday.

Another recommendation asks the agency to develop a definition for damage that could pose a hazard and develop repair techniques to be done in space to fix tile and carbon panel damage.

A piece of foam from the external tank brought down Columbia after it struck the ship’s left wing shortly after liftoff in 2003, killing all seven on board.