Union leader doubts strike can be resolved soon

Sunday, September 11, 2005

MINNEAPOLIS -- A union spokesman for striking Northwest Airlines mechanics said Saturday he doubts a deal will be reached anytime soon to end the three-week walkout. "I think it would be a miracle for us to reach an agreement during this round of bargaining," said Steve MacFarlane, assistant national director of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association. Northwest is seeking $1.1 billion in annual labor cost savings and has said rising fuel prices mean it will probably raise that target. The company is in talks with all of its workers.

Ophelia once again strengthens to hurricane

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- A hurricane watch was posted Saturday for the Southeast coast as Ophelia strengthened into a hurricane once again and meteorologists said its meandering course could take a sharp turn toward land. A hurricane watch was posted along a 300-mile stretch from the Georgia-South Carolina state line to North Carolina's Cape Lookout, meaning hurricane-force wind of at least 74 mph was possible by this evening, the National Hurricane Center said. South Carolina state emergency officials said a decision would be made later Saturday whether any evacuations would be ordered, but Charleston County announced it would open shelters Saturday evening for voluntary evacuees from low-lying areas and barrier islands. Emergency management directors along the North Carolina coast said they were prepared for Ophelia and warned residents not to be complacent.

Grizzly attack survivor thought of daughter

SEATTLE -- Even as Johan Otter felt the grizzly tear at his scalp, he said his greatest concern was for his 18-year-old daughter. The two were hiking last month in Glacier National Park in Montana when a bear attacked him to protect her cubs. Otter, 44, of Escondido, Calif., understood the impulse: "Don't get to my daughter," he recalls thinking during the Aug. 25 attack. "Just stay with me." His daughter, Jenna, came away from the attack with only a bite on the heel, a shoulder injury and some facial lacerations. By the time Otter arrived at Harborview Medical Center here about 10 hours later, his scalp was gone and his skull exposed. He expects his recovery to take about 10 weeks. Other injuries from the five-minute attack: five fractured vertebrae, three broken ribs, a fractured eye socket, five major bites over his body and a broken nose, doctors said.

Judge rules in ACLU's favor in Patriot Act case

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- A federal judge has lifted a gag order that shielded the identity of librarians who received an FBI demand for records about library patrons under the Patriot Act. U.S. District Court Judge Janet Hall ruled in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union, which argued that the gag order prevented their client from participating in a debate over whether Congress should reauthorize the Patriot Act. "Clearly the judge recognized it was profoundly undemocratic to gag a librarian from participating in the Patriot Act debate," said ACLU associate legal director Ann Beeson.

-- From wire reports

The Patriot Act, passed shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, allowed expanded surveillance of terror suspects, increased use of material witness warrants to hold suspects incommunicado and secret proceedings in immigration cases.

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