National and world briefs

Published: Friday, January 3, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 2, 2003 at 9:53 p.m.

Son of '57 civil rights activist killed by police

  • LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Police shot and killed the son of one of the Little Rock Nine, the group of blacks who integrated the city's schools in 1957.
    Police said they were called after neighbors saw Erin Eckford, 26, firing an assault rifle into the air Wednesday night. Police shot him with a bean bag round, then opened fire after he pointed the rifle at them, authorities said. He was struck six times, spokesman Sgt. Terry Hastings said.
    Eckford, a student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, was the son of Elizabeth Eckford. She was among the students who broke the color barrier at Little Rock Central High School in 1957.

    FAA: No deaths in 2002 on commercial flights

  • WASHINGTON - No one died aboard a passenger or cargo airliner in the United States in 2002, the third time in a decade that a year went by without a fatality on a commercial plane.
    The Federal Aviation Administration credited new air traffic control technology, better training and vigilance by the aviation industry. Agency spokesman Greg Martin said there were more than 13 million takeoffs and landings last year without a single death.
    The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 brought the 2001 death toll to 525.

    Los Alamos lab director resigns amid charges

  • ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory was replaced Thursday amid a growing number of government investigations into charges of widespread theft and fraud at the birthplace of the atomic bomb. John Browne, a physicist and lab veteran who became director in 1997, will step down Monday. He had no immediate comment. University of California spokesman Rick Malaspina did not give a specific reason for the resignation but said it was a "mutual decision" by Browne and the university, which runs the lab for the government.

    Oil tanker ignored warnings before crash

  • BRUSSELS, Belgium - A tanker loaded with 2 million gallons of oil ignored safety buoys and hourly radio warnings before it slammed into a shipwreck in one of the world's busiest sea lanes, officials said Thursday.
    The 800-foot Vicky lost some fuel after the crash in the English Channel on Wednesday and was listing slightly at anchor in Belgian waters, 18 miles from the North Sea port of Ostend. Damage was limited to the Turkish ship, whose double hull offered protection. That reduced the likelihood that the accident would cause the sort of environmental disaster that happened off Spain's coast six weeks ago, when a single-hulled tanker split in two and broke up with 20 million gallons aboard.

    Officials: Suspects in Yemen had bigger plan

  • SAN'A, Yemen - A pair of Islamic militants - in custody for allegedly killing three American Christian missionaries and a senior leftist Yemeni politician - had plans to attack other foreigners, journalists and Yemeni political leaders, security officials said Thursday.
    The murder suspects, Ali al-Jarallah and Abed Abdul Razak Kamel, gave police a list of eight targets during interrogation, the officials said on condition of anonymity.
    The two are among 30 people detained so far in connection with Monday's killing of three missionaries and the wounding of a fourth at a Baptist hospital in southern Yemen.
    - Compiled from The Associated Press
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