- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 18, 2001

N.Y. Legislature meets for anti-terrorism bills

ALBANY, N.Y. — The state Legislature convened in a special session yesterday to pass a package of bills that would bolster New York's anti-terrorism laws.

Republican Gov. George E. Pataki, who summoned lawmakers Sunday night, said the legislation shows "we have every intention of fighting back."

Among the provisions is a new roving wiretap authority for prosecutors. Currently, police must seek new wiretap permission from judges every time a suspect changes telephones or computers.

Falwell apologies for terrorism remarks

RICHMOND The Rev. Jerry Falwell apologized yesterday for saying God had allowed terrorists to attack America because of the work of civil liberties groups, abortion rights supporters and feminists.

Mr. Falwell said his comments were ill-timed, insensitive and divisive at a time of national mourning. President Bush had called the minister's statement inappropriate.

"In the midst of the shock and mourning of a dark week for America, I made a statement that I should not have made, and which I sincerely regret," said Mr. Falwell, a Baptist minister and chancellor of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

He added: "I want to apologize to every American, including those I named."

In an interview Thursday during religious broadcaster Pat Robertson's TV program "The 700 Club," Mr. Falwell blamed the devastation on pagans, abortionists, feminists, homosexuals, the American Civil Liberties Union and the People for the American Way.

First lady speaks at Pennsylvania service

INDIAN LAKE, Pa. First lady Laura Bush yesterday had words of love and faith for hundreds of relatives and friends of those who died aboard a hijacked airliner near Pittsburgh, telling them America shared their grief.

"You are not alone," the wife of President Bush said at a memorial service held under a white tent on a golf course about two miles from the site where the Boeing 757 crashed last Tuesday.

Earlier yesterday, family members of 27 passengers visited the wind-swept crash site aboard a motorcade of buses and state police vehicles that kept the grief-stricken away from eager television news crews camped nearby.

Environmentalists zip criticism of Bush

Environmental groups that have been the biggest critics of President Bush his first seven months in office said yesterday that in light of the terrorist attacks they are pulling advertisements and withholding statements that criticize his policies.

"In deference to the fact that we need to pull together as a nation, we're not going to be making any kind of statements on the issues at this point," said Elliott Negin, communications director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

NRDC pulled an ad urging the administration to lower arsenic standards for drinking water and started posting Web site information on relief efforts. Other groups, such as the Sierra Club, sent memos to staff telling them to stop criticizing Mr. Bush publicly. The Sierra Club also pulled television, radio and print ads, shut down phone banks and removed Internet material seen as critical of Mr. Bush.

Police guard lawmaker who opposed using force

Police yesterday stood guard at the Capitol Hill office of Rep. Barbara Lee, California Democrat, the target of threats after casting the lone vote in Congress against the use of military force in response to last week's terror attacks.

Plainclothes Capitol officers first took up posts in her legislative office Saturday morning, hours after she became the only member of either the House or Senate to oppose a military response to the attacks.

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