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News Briefs

U.S. Plans To Put Security Inspectors At Foreign Airports

The New York Times -- WASHINGTON

Domestic security officials plan to station American inspectors at several foreign airports in Europe, Asia and elsewhere to look for terrorism suspects who may be using fraudulent travel documents, officials said on Monday.

The plan, still preliminary, is seen as one way of avoiding the repeated flight cancellations that have disrupted travel between Europe and the United States in the last two months.

“Had there been a program like this in place, it may well not have been necessary to cancel flights at significant costs to the airlines,” Robert C. Bonner, the commissioner of customs and border Protection, said in an interview. “We would have had the opportunity to screen passengers who pose a terrorist threat.”

Officials at the Department of Homeland Security have begun discussions with some foreign counterparts to determine if they would agree to allow American inspectors at their airports to assist in screening passengers bound for the United States.

Twenty Arrested In Hong Kong Financial Scandal

The New York Times -- HONG KONG

Investigators have arrested 20 people here in a financial scandal involving allegations of bribery and rigging of share prices by corporate executives, fund managers, a research analyst and a securities broker.

At least one of Europe’s largest banks, UBS, has been caught up in the controversy, while anti-corruption investigators here said that employees at three more financial institutions and two publicly traded companies have been arrested. All those arrested have been released on bail.

UBS said it had suspended one of its better-known analysts here, Nicholas Tan, after he was arrested. Mark Panday, a UBS spokesman, said on Monday that the bank had hired both an outside law firm and an outside accounting firm to conduct an independent review of all the work done by the 40 senior and junior analysts and their 20 assistants in the bank’s Hong Kong office.

Supreme Court Will Hear California Prison Segregation Case

The New York Times -- WASHINGTON

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a challenge to a California prison system policy that segregates inmates by race during their first 60 days of incarceration.

The state defended the policy, and a federal appeals court upheld it, as a sensible way of minimizing interracial violence at reception centers where inmates are housed for 60 days while being screened for long-term placement. One purpose of the screening is to assess a new inmate’s potential for violence.

During this period, inmates are assigned to two-person cells according to whether they are black, white, Asian or “other.” Within those categories, prison authorities also separate certain groups by national or geographic origin. For example, they do not house Japanese and Chinese inmates together, or Laotians with Vietnamese, or Latinos from Northern and Southern California.

The segregation policy is also used for the first 60 days after an inmate is transferred from one prison to another. In all instances, however, areas of the prison other than the actual cells -- the yard, dining hall and work and recreation areas -- are not segregated.