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Monday, September 4, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Nation Digest

KKK members rally at Gettysburg site

About 30 Ku Klux Klan members proclaimed hatred for blacks, Jews, gays and Latinos as they stood behind barricades at the Civil War battlefield where Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.

Gordon Young of the World Knights of the Ku Klux Klan also called Saturday for the United States to pull its troops out of Iraq and use them to patrol the Mexican border to stop illegal immigration.

The World Knights obtained a permit in July for the two-hour demonstration. The National Park Service granted it under the group's First Amendment rights to free speech.

Several groups counter demonstrated. Park Service spokeswoman Katy Lawhon said there were no major incidents; one man was cited for entering a restricted area.

Confederate re-enactors from Virginia protested the Klan's adoption of the Confederate battle flag as an emblem and its claim to be a continuance of the Confederate cause.

"These guys don't stand for anything I stand for," said Tim McCown of Jefferson, Md. "And it's time we disengage our flag from what they stand for."

Cassadaga, N.Y.

Trooper shot in fugitive hunt dies

One of two troopers ambushed while searching for an escaped convict died Sunday of his injuries, and state police vowed to capture the man they think killed him.

Joseph Longobardo was shot in the leg Thursday night while staking out the property of a former girlfriend of Ralph "Bucky" Phillips. He died at a Buffalo hospital, State Police Superintendent Wayne Bennett said.

His death came in the midst of one of the largest manhunts in New York history. Phillips has been on the run for five months. "You can run, but you can't hide. Sooner or later, I don't care how good you are, we will find you," Bennett said.

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Troopers held a candlelight vigil Sunday for Longobardo, 32, and Donald Baker Jr., 38, who was shot in the back and remains in critical condition, police said.

Washington

Report: Health chief will resign post

Medicare and Medicaid chief Mark McClellan intends to resign, and an announcement could come as early as Tuesday, The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday.

McClellan, a physician and economist, was one of President Bush's economic advisers and served as the Food and Drug Administration commissioner before he was appointed in 2004 to administer the government's health programs for the elderly and impoverished.

McClellan spokesman Jeff Nelligan and White House spokesman David Almacy said Sunday they could not confirm the report.

Duluth, Minn.

Jet passengers wait nearly 10 hours

A Northwest Airlines flight to London made an emergency landing after smoke was reported in the cabin, and passengers waited aboard for nearly 10 hours before the trip was canceled early Sunday.

Flight 44 from Minneapolis landed without incident just before 9:50 p.m. Saturday at Duluth International Airport, as airport firetrucks stood by. Passengers remained aboard until about 7:30 a.m. Sunday.

No injuries were reported among the 255 passengers and 10 crew members.

Northwest's manager in Duluth, Doug Wood, said it appears the smoke was electrical in nature. Mechanics fixed the problem, but because the flight crew was running out of its allowed time, the flight was canceled. The passengers were returned to Minneapolis and put up in hotels.

Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Countdown begins on Atlantis launch

The countdown clock Sunday began ticking toward a Wednesday launch of the space shuttle after a week of weather delays kept Atlantis grounded.

The launch time was set for 9:29 a.m. PDT Wednesday. If the shuttle does not lift off then, NASA has launch opportunities on the following two days.

Compiled from The Associated Press

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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