Plane part from Boeing jet
A rusted piece of airplane landing gear discovered wedged between a mosque and an apartment building and believed to be from one of the hijacked planes that destroyed the nearby World Trade Center on Sept. 11 has been confirmed as coming from the type of Boeing jet used in the attacks.
Police said Saturday that detectives had been in contact with officials at Chicago-based Boeing Co. who confirmed the wreckage was from a Boeing 767. Police have said the landing gear had a clearly visible Boeing identification number.
The American Airlines and United Airlines planes hijacked by Islamic extremists in 2001 were Boeing 767s. Boeing spokesman John Dern said he could not confirm whether the ID matched the American Airlines plane or the United Airlines plane.
Air traffic to be normal
The Federal Aviation Administration said that the U.S. air traffic system will resume normal operations by Sunday evening after lawmakers rushed a bill through Congress allowing the agency to withdraw furloughs of air traffic controllers and other workers.
The FAA said Saturday that it has suspended all employee furloughs and that traffic facilities will begin returning to regular staffing levels over the next 24 hours. The furloughs were fallout from the $85 billion in automatic-across-the-board spending cuts this spring. The bill, passed on Friday, allows the FAA to move as much as $253 million within its budget to areas that will allow it to prevent reduced operations and staffing.
The furloughs started to hit air traffic controllers this past week, causing flight delays that left thousands of travelers frustrated and furious.
Shooting mars political event
Italy’s new government was sworn in Sunday, ending weeks of political stalemate, but the ceremony was overshadowed by a shooting outside the prime minister’s office.
Two policemen were injured outside Palazzo Chigi when six shots were fired as the swearing-in ceremony was held at the nearby presidential palace, news reports said.
The suspect, identified as a 49-year-old Italian man with no criminal record, was apprehended. A pregnant passer-by was grazed by a stray bullet.
Investigators described the shooting as an act of despair by an unemployed, divorced man and said he had intended to kill the police officers deployed in front of the seat of the government.
Blasts kill at least 11
Bomb blasts targeting the election offices of two candidates in northwest Pakistan killed at least 11 people and injured 30 Sunday, the latest in a string of terrorist attacks that have cast a shadow over parliamentary elections scheduled for mid-May.
In recent weeks, Pakistan has been rocked by bombings directed primarily at candidates and backers of three liberal, secular parties, the Awami National Party based in the country’s northwest, President Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party, which led the civilian government for the last five years, and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the ruling party in Karachi, the country’s largest city.
The bombings have been occurring almost daily, and have included attacks on candidates’ headquarters, small campaign gatherings and candidates as they drive from one campaign event to another. Several weeks ago, the Pakistani Taliban had warned they would attack candidates and leaders of the ANP, PPP and MQM because it regards those parties as enemies of Islam.