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Bird-flu monitoring expands to all of U.S.
The government on Wednesday expanded its monitoring of wild migratory birds for a deadly bird flu virus to cover the entire nation and U.S. territories in the Pacific.
Scientists in the lower 48 states, Hawaii and other Pacific islands will begin keeping an eye out for the deadly H5N1 strain of the avian flu that has killed more than 100 people, mostly in Asia. Monitoring began just before summer in Alaska, where the first migratory birds from Asia began arriving.
"This move to test thousands more wild birds throughout the country will help us to quickly identify, respond and control the virus if it arrives in the United States," said Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns. "Because we cannot control wild birds, our best protection is an early warning system."
U.S. sailor charged with espionage
A sailor accused of taking a Navy laptop containing classified information and peddling its contents to foreign governments is being held for possible court-martial, the military Wednesday.
The Navy said that Petty Officer 3rd Class Ariel J. Weinmann gave the classified information, containing national defense data, to an undisclosed foreign government before he destroyed the computer. Weinmann, 21, of Salem, Ore., was confined at Norfolk Naval Air Station on six charges, including three counts of espionage, the Navy said.
Ted Brown, U.S. Fleet Forces Command spokesman, would not comment on which government Weinmann was charged with spying for, what he was seeking in exchange for the information, or how he obtained the computer.Marietta, Ohio
2 men charged in terrorism case
Two men were charged Wednesday with money laundering in support of terrorism after authorities said they found airplane passenger lists and information on airport security checkpoints in their car.
Deputies stopped Osama Sabhi Abulhassan, 20, and Ali Houssaiky, 20, both of Dearborn, Mich., on a traffic violation Tuesday. They found the flight documents along with $11,000 cash and 12 phones in the car, said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks. Prosecutor Susan Vessels declined to say how the phones, cash or flight information involved terrorism.Boston
Drivers got a little relief Wednesday from the traffic tie-ups they have faced since a deadly ceiling collapse in Boston's Big Dig highway system: One ramp that had been closed for repairs reopened to the public.
The newly reopened ramp funnels drivers through the Ted Williams Tunnel toward Logan International Airport. It was closed after tons of concrete panels fell from the ceiling in a nearby connector tunnel July 10, killing a motorist.
The reopened ramp represents only about 10 percent of the total area of the Big Dig tunnels and ramps that have been shut down. Other sections could take months to inspect and reopen.
Phoenix shootings: Two men accused in a string of shootings in the Phoenix area have been charged with murder and attempted murder. An Aug. 14 preliminary hearing was scheduled for Dale S. Hausner, 33, and Samuel J. Dieteman, 30.
Texas election: David Wallace, the mayor of Sugar Land, Texas, said Wednesday he will run as a write-in candidate for the House seat of former Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
Compiled from The Associated Press
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company