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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Tighter airline security coming

WASHINGTON – All airlines flying to the United States or within the country were told Thursday to prepare for even tighter security because of the al-Qaida threat from Yemen, a law enforcement official said. The U.S. increased the number of air marshals on international flights and pressed for more random screening at airports as intelligence officials warned that al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen was continuing to plot attacks on the United States.

Obama says anti-terror ’buck’ stops with him

President Barack Obama declared Thursday “the buck stops with me” for the nation’s security, taking responsibility for failures that led to the near-disastrous Christmas attack on a Detroit-bound airliner and vowing the problems would be corrected. He said the lapses were widespread but suggested no officials would be fired.

Test gone awry lands man in jail

DUBLIN, Ireland – An unknowing 49-year-old electrician emerged Wednesday as an unlikely symbol of what can go wrong in the war on terror after authorities in Slovakia planted an explosive in his backpack to test security – then let it travel all the way to Ireland. The incredible chain of events included a pilot taking off with the explosive on board, the closure of a busy Dublin thoroughfare during rush hour and the man’s arrest as a terror suspect.

Obama blisters security agencies

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama scolded 20 of his highest-level officials on Tuesday over the botched Christmas Day terror attack on an airliner bound for Detroit, taking them jointly to task for “a screw-up that could have been disastrous” and should have been avoided. After that 90-minute private reckoning around a table in the super-secure White House Situation Room, a grim-faced Obama informed Americans that the government had enough information to thwart the attack ahead of time but that the intelligence community, though trained to do so, did not “connect those dots.”

TSA’s false alarm a sticky issue

FRESNO, Calif. – Seemingly suspicious pieces of luggage delayed flights at two airports Tuesday, prompting evacuations in Minneapolis and closing a California airport where authorities discovered what turned out to be soft drink bottles filled with honey. A passenger’s suitcase tested positive for TNT at Bakersfield’s Meadows Field during a routine swabbing of the bag’s exterior, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said. When Transportation Security Administration officials opened the bag, they found bottles filled with an amber liquid, he said.

Canada agrees to airport scanners

TORONTO – Full-body scanners will be introduced in Canada in the wake of the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt of a U.S. airliner, Canada’s transport minister said Tuesday. Transport Minister John Baird said 44 machines will be purchased. Twelve will be put in place later this month, and the rest will be operational in the spring.

Dutch to use full body scanners for US flights

The Netherlands announced today it will immediately begin using full body scanners for flights heading to the United States, issuing a report that called the failed Christmas Day airline bombing a “professional” terror attack.

TSA: Added security not slowing Spokane airport lines

Heightened airport security in the wake of an attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines jet on Christmas Day has not caused any major delays for screening at Pacific Northwest airports, including Spokane, officials said.

Liar, Liar, pants on fire…

Good morning, Netizens... Homeland Security's Janet Napolitano admitted she lied on Sunday's news talk shows this morning, and I, for one, want to know why she is still in charge of Homeland Security. She admitted this morning that the Homeland Security system failed. Failed? It...

Spokane jobless rate drops to 7.9 percent

Spokane County employers hired more than 3,000 workers in October, lifting total employment numbers to the highest level since February, and pushing the unemployment rate to the lowest level since December 2008. The October rate fell to 7.9 percent. Statewide, according to the Washington Department of Employment Security, the rate climbed from 9.1 percent in September to 9.3 percent, seasonally adjusted, and 8.8 percent unadjusted. The Spokane figure is also unadjusted.

Millions will have to repay part of tax credit

More than 15 million taxpayers may owe the government $250 or more because of how the IRS last spring set up President Barack Obama’s tax break that was designed to help consumers spend the U.S. economy out of recession.

Idaho Max marks milestone

BOISE – Idaho’s maximum security prison marked its 20th anniversary Thursday, with two of its units sitting vacant. It’s not that Idaho doesn’t have enough prisoners – it’s short on money. Inmates have been shifted to the cheapest beds available, like those down the road at the privately operated Idaho Correctional Center, where many of the inmates are housed dorm-style in huge rooms with rows of bunk beds and open toilets.

Payments to seniors won’t go up

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Wednesday attempted to pre-empt the announcement that Social Security recipients will not see an increase in their benefit checks for the first time in three decades, pressing Congress for a one-time payment of $250 to help seniors and disabled Americans weather the recession. Obama’s proposal, which is expected to cost at least $13 billion, comes as the administration continues to grope for ways to sustain an apparent economic rebound without the kind of massive spending package that could be labeled a second stimulus act by critics.