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News Briefs

Pentagon Tells Troops To Expect Extended Stay


Troops deployed in the war against terrorism should expect to be away from home longer than military personnel have at any time since World War II, senior Pentagon officials are cautioning servicemen and women stationed around the world.

In a radio address broadcast Wednesday night on military networks, Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Pentagon is likely to discard the personnel rotation schedule used in peacetime that limits the time troops are separated from their families.

While a transcript of the radio address was not made available, a defense official said Myers told troops, “We’re going to do everything we can to manage this thing, but we’re in a brand-new situation, so buckle your chin straps.”

The rotation schedule was adopted in the early 1970s -- when the military was having trouble retaining its recruits -- as a way of making life in the armed forces more palatable. It limits the time that Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines personnel customarily are deployed to about six months. Longer deployment requires special orders from a four-star general.

Four Embassy Bombers Get Life Without Parole


Under a blanket of unprecedented security and just blocks away from the smoldering wreckage of the World Trade Center, four members of Osama bin Laden’s terror army were sent to prison for the rest of their lives after being convicted of conspiring with him in a world-wide plot to attack Americans.

The conspiracy culminated in the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Sept. 7, 1998. Those attacks ripped through the buildings, killing 224 people, including 12 Americans. Thousands of others were also injured.

All four received the same life terms without parole and ordered to pay a total of $33 million in restitution to the individual victims as well as the United States.

“This is a time not for eloquence but for justice,” U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Sand said after hearing from five of the victims present in court. “Even were I tempted to engage in rhetoric I certainly could not match the eloquence and the poignancy of the witnesses we’ve just heard.

Airlines Begin to Show Evidence of Financial Strain


Southwest Airlines, Alaska Air Group Inc. and United Parcel Service Inc., providing the first major evidence of the financial effect of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the air-transportation system, Thursday posted sharp declines in their third-quarter profits compared with a year earlier.

But the financial damage will look much worse when the other major airlines announce their third-quarter results in the coming days. Those results are expected to show enormous losses for such major carriers as AMR Corp.’s American Airlines and UAL Corp.’s United Airlines.

The U.S. airline industry overall is expected to lose $7 billion to $10 billion for 2001, owing to an unprecedented two-day shutdown of civilian air travel after the attacks and a subsequent plunge in passenger traffic and reduced freight shipments. But even before Sept. 11, most carriers were facing a dismal third quarter.