- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 13, 2002

Judge rules Arab-American can sue United Airlines

LOS ANGELES A judge has cleared the way for a discrimination lawsuit by an American of Arab descent who was removed from a United Airlines flight three months after the September 11 attacks.
U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ruled that although airlines must remove passengers who pose a security threat, that duty "does not grant them a license to discriminate."
The American Civil Liberties Union sued on behalf of Assem Bayaa, an Irvine auditor who was removed from a New York-bound United flight in Los Angeles on Dec. 23.
Mr. Bayaa said security told him that he was removed because the crew wasn't comfortable having him aboard.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction barring United from discriminating against Americans of Arab descent.

Computer pioneer dies of heart attack
LOS ANGELES Keith Uncapher, a computer pioneer at the University of Southern California who was a key player in the development of the Internet, died Thursday of a heart attack. He was 80.
Mr. Uncapher founded the Information Sciences Institute at USC's school of engineering in 1972.
Under his tenure as executive director, institute researchers worked on developing the Internet's system of domain names that includes ".com" ".net" and ".org."
Before forming the institute with a staff of three, Mr. Uncapher worked for Rand Corp. in Santa Monica. He was director of Rand's computer science division, where he led a project on "packet switching" technology, which breaks down digital messages into parts and sends them over a network to be reassembled at their destination.

Drug czar blasts vote on legal marijuana
RENO, Nev. The nation's drug czar said Nevada's ballot issue to legalize possession of marijuana is ludicrous and that the measure's supporters are relying on distortions and voter naivete.
"This is a con, and it's insulting to the voters of the state in which it is presented," John P. Walters said Friday during a gathering of reporters and law enforcement officials.
"We have a momentous decision in this state. We saw the problem that marijuana was massively underestimated in the public mind and if we didn't do anything, it would grow," he said. "That's why I came."
Nevada's measure would allow adults to possess as much as 3 ounces of marijuana that could be sold and taxed in state-licensed smoke shops.
"This is the most extreme ballot issue they've done so far," he said. Gesturing to 3 ounces of marijuana in three sandwich-sized bags, he added, "That's enough to make 250 cigarettes. That's not personal use."
Mr. Walters, chief of the office of National Drug Control Policy, called backers of Nevada's Question 9 "misguided people who have a lot of money and decided to make this state a guinea pig."

Plane crash leaves one person dead
PHOENIX A small plane crashed into a mobile home park about a mile from an airport yesterday, setting two homes ablaze and killing at least one person, an airport spokeswoman said.
It wasn't immediately clear whether the victim was on the ground or in the plane.
A mobile home was hit, two others were on fire and at least one person was dead, said Suzanne Luber, a spokeswoman for Sky Harbor International Airport, which oversees the smaller Deer Valley Airport near where the plane crashed.

First lady inaugurates books festival
First lady Laura Bush invoked the "pure joy of the bookworm" yesterday as she opened a weekend festival devoted to books, their writers and fellow bookworms everywhere.
In clusters of large white tents stretching across the Capitol's broad lawns, the second National Book Festival lured readers with more than 70 authors, storytellers, book illustrators, singers, actors and a squad of professional basketball players spreading the message that "reading is cool."

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