Nation briefs 07/23/03

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Sept. 11 report expected to reveal more errors

WASHINGTON -- Sept. 11 hijackers lived freely in San Diego, even after they were linked to al-Qaida. Warnings that terrorist groups were training pilots were ignored. Intelligence officials were more focused on stopping attacks abroad than at home.

A congressional investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks has already revealed major intelligence problems. On Thursday it will reveal more as its final report on the attacks is released, officials and congressional panel members say.

The inquiry's conclusions were released in December. It found that intelligence agencies had no evidence that specifically pointed to a Sept. 11 plot, but that they missed opportunities to disrupt the plot by denying entry to hijackers, keeping them under surveillance or bolstering security in the United States.

The final report will reveal many, but not all, of the details that led to those conclusions.

"When the story line comes out, it is explosive and riveting not so much that there is one single huge burst of information, but a host of new nuggets that kind of have a snowballing effect on the mountain that will hopefully rivet the American people's attention on the continuing problem of terrorism," said former Rep. Tim Roemer, D-Ind., who served on the joint inquiry by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

Families sought for new Alzheimer's gene bank

CHICAGO -- Families with several members afflicted with Alzheimer's disease are being recruited for a new gene bank that may help speed new treatments or even prevention of the mind-robbing ailment.

The program was announced Tuesday by the Chicago-based Alzheimer's Association, which is working with the National Institute on Aging to create a gene bank with samples from more than 1,000 families affected by late-onset Alzheimer's. Most of the 4 million Americans with Alzheimer's have that form of the disease, which typically is diagnosed after age 60.

While three genes have been linked to earlier-onset disease, researchers are less certain about the genetic causes of late-onset Alzheimer's.

House GOP drops effort to back FCC limits

WASHINGTON -- Top Republicans conceded Tuesday they could not stop the House from voting to block the Federal Communications Commission from expanding the number of television stations that companies can own, despite a Bush administration veto threat.

Instead, as the GOP-led House moved toward approving legislation to derail the FCC ruling, leading Republicans said they would use leverage from the veto threat to try killing the language when the House and Senate write a final compromise bill. Final passage was expected today.

-- From wire reports

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