Top National News Right Now - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Top National News Right Now

Rosh Haayin, Israel-AP -- After a pair of suicide bombings today, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says he won't move on with the U-S-backed peace plan "if terrorism doesn't cease completely."

Sharon is scheduled to meet today with a senior U-S envoy.

Sharon hasn't changed his schedule or met with his security Cabinet, as is common after major attacks. That makes it seem unlikely he'll order a large-scale military action in response.

Two Israelis died in attacks today on a strip mall in Israel and a bus stop at a Jewish West Bank settlement less than an hour apart.

(Jerusalem-AP) -- In the aftermath of today's bomb attacks, Israel has canceled the release of 76 Palestinian prisoners. Some of them were already on buses, and they were brought back.

A military wing of Hamas has taken responsibility for one attack -- the first open violation of a cease-fire it declared in June.

Israel says the other was the work of renegade followers of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement.

(Monrovia, Liberia-AP) -- A day after the transfer of power in Liberia, rebels in the port of the capital, Monrovia, are rejecting the rule of the new president, Moses Blah. They say they're still ready to fight.

The rebels are in control of the port, and have cut off the flow of food into areas held by the government.

Some people behind government lines have been surviving on leaves and whatever scraps of food they can find. One man threatening to storm the port puts it this way: "A hungry man is an angry man -- and we're hungry"

A U-S military commander flew into the capital today to help jump-start the flow of food to starving citizens.

Major General Thomas Turner heads a Marine expeditionary force of 23-hundred waiting off the Liberian coast.

(Basra, Iraq-AP) -- The head of Iraq's interim government says he's ready to take a "big step" toward re-opening Iraq to the rest of the world.

Ibrahim al-Jaafari says the government hopes to reopen the Basra airport in southern Iraq by the end of the month. Basra is Iraq's second-largest city.

Al-Jaafari is the current head of the U-S-picked Governing Council.

The government has planned flights by at least six foreign carriers.

International flights to and from Iraq have been suspended since the 1991 Gulf War. Only Royal Jordanian has been flying to Baghdad with U-N approval.

Scandinavian Airlines System says it hopes to resume at least two flights a week, depending on the security situation in Basra.

(London-AP) -- Nine British terror suspects being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba are the subject of talks today between British and U-S legal officials.

The detainees are all believed to have links to the former Taliban regime or the al-Qaida network. But the talks will likely focus on two British nationals. They were on a list of detainees who could face military tribunals.

Today's meeting in London is the third in a series designed to ensure that British detainees get a fair trial, if prosecuted.

(Seoul, South Korea-AP) -- A witness says he watched a U-S military transport plane on fire steer away from a populated area -- before crashing into a rice paddy south of Seoul, South Korea today.

The U-S military now confirms both Americans on board, the pilot and co-pilot, were killed in the crash. There were no casualties on the ground.

The ten-seat turbo-prop plane was on a maintenance test flight when it crashed in the rice paddy. It also plowed through garlic patches and into a storehouse, destroying a chicken coop, a tractor and other farm implements.

The building caught fire. No word on the cause of the crash.

(New York-AP) -- Three people who apparently lost control of their raft and wound up at Kennedy Airport in New York have prompted an investigation.

The three were on an inflatable raft during a fishing expedition, but became lost during a storm Sunday. One of the boaters tells W-A-B-C-T-V that high winds blew the raft toward the airport, which is near Jamaica Bay.

They anchored off an active runway and wandered landing strips and taxiways before making their way to a police garage.

Authorities released the 21-year-old man and the two 13-year-old boys after questioning them. But the incident has raised concerns about police procedures and supervision at the airport.

Authorities are now investigating.

(Paris-AP) -- It's still hot in Europe -- where the heat wave has caused power shortages, fanned wildfires and killed dozens of people.

In France, the power company is now asking people to use less electricity. River temperatures are hitting record highs, and some plants that use water in production are cutting back or have stopped altogether.

Temperatures have hovered around 100 in many countries, breaking records in some places. Throughout Europe, authorities have counted 45 heat-related deaths, including five people who died trying to escape a forest fire.

A French medical expert says the numbers are really much higher. He says at least 50 Parisians have died of heat-related illnesses. But the government says it's too hard to tell if the deaths are actually because of the heat or other ailments.

Forecasters say temperatures may drop by mid-week -- but they'll remain above average.

(New York-AP) -- Stocks are higher so far this morning. Investors will be focusing most of their attention on today's meeting of Federal Reserve policy-makers. Analysts generally believe the Fed will keep short-term rates at their current levels. They're still at a 45-year low.

(Phoenix-AP) -- A temporary pipeline shutdown has led to gasoline shortages in the Phoenix area.

One gasoline wholesaler says most of his stations in the area are out of gas. Others are raising prices to curb demand.

The problem began Friday when concerns about defective piping forced a shutdown of the underground pipeline. The line caries gasoline from El Paso, Texas to Tucson and Phoenix.

A service station owner... who's raised his prices to a dollar-89 for regular -- says his distributor tells him he may not get more gasoline until next week.

A Triple-A spokesman is urging motorists to avoid a rush to buy gas. He says panic-buying is a sure way to create a shortage.

(Denver-AP) -- Voters in Denver will be deciding in November whether the city should do more to reduce stress. The city council says it has to put the question on the ballot -- because a resident collected the necessary 24-hundred signatures. One council member called the proposal "lunatic" -- and another said it's stressing her out.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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