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Americans remember the 9/11 victims
New York, September 11

With a “heavy heart”, US President George W. Bush joined thousands across the country in observing the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks with all faith prayers, wreath laying ceremonies and silent marches in the areas hit by the terrorists.

Blast cuts power line, plunges Baluchistan into darkness
Quetta, September 11
Baluchistan's woes show no signs of abating almost two-and-a-half weeks after the killing of Baluch leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti.

Rally against Bugti’s killing
Islamabad, September 11
Stepping up their agitation on the killing of Baloch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, Pakistan’s opposition parties held a huge rally in Lahore accusing the military of “ganging up” to establish their writ without taking into account the people’s ethnic sensibilities.


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Atlantis prepares to dock with space station
The docking port of the International Space Station (top) captures the specialised mating adapter of the space shuttle Atlantis as the two spacecraft dock in this view from NASA TV on Monday. Atlantis is delivery a 35,000-pound (15,880 kg) structure with two large solar panels for electricity generation as assembly of the $ 100 billion, half-finished space station resumes for the first time since the 2003 Columbia disaster. Cape Canaveral (Florida), September 11
The space shuttle performed a back-flip today so crew on the international space station could photograph any signs of damage on the belly of Atlantis, which carried the first new addition to the space lab in 3 1/2 years.

The docking port of the International Space Station (top) captures the specialised mating adapter of the space shuttle Atlantis as the two spacecraft dock in this view from NASA TV on Monday. Atlantis is delivery a 35,000-pound (15,880 kg) structure with two large solar panels for electricity generation as assembly of the $ 100 billion, half-finished space station resumes for the first time since the 2003 Columbia disaster. — Reuters photo



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Americans remember the 9/11 victims
Dharam Shourie

New York, September 11
With a “heavy heart”, US President George W. Bush joined thousands across the country in observing the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks with all faith prayers, wreath laying ceremonies and silent marches in the areas hit by the terrorists.

The two-day commemoration ceremonies began with President Bush and first lady Laura Bush laying two wreaths of red, white and blue flowers in reflecting pools at the sites where the World Trade Centre’s twin towers once adorned and reflecting as the wreaths drifted.

The two also attended a prayer service at St. Paul Chapel, visited a fire station overlooking the pit left by fallen towers to show their appreciation for the work that the first responders did and remember hundreds of them who died as the structures collapsed.

They walked down the long ramp hand in hand but without uttering a word to the site of the pools which are about five stories below ground level with police lining both sides and bagpipes striking a solemn tune.

After emerging from the firehouse, Bush said he is approaching the anniversary with a “heavy heart” as he recalls those who lost their lives. He also called the day one for “renewing resolve”. “I vowed that I am never going to forget the lessons of that day,” he said.

New York Governor George E. Pataki, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the then Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani also walked them down the ramp with them.

As many as 2,748 people were killed when terrorists crashed two airliners in the twin towers which later collapsed in intense heat. Nineteen terrorists, who had hijacked the planes, too perished.

The wreath laying was followed by an hour-long service at the Chapel. Several other functions were arranged across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and other states to remember the victims.

Many commemoration events were lined up for the day like story readings, music and recitation of the names of those killed.

In New York city, where most of the deaths occurred and at other sites, the remembrances blossomed early.

Firefighters marched in streets to honour fallen comrades bereaved family members knelt in church ceremonies and mourners paid homage to the souvenirs of their memories.

Walks and motorcycle rides were also organised in Washington to mark the occasion. About 200 people were also slated to read the names of victims stopping only for moments of silence at the time when the two towers were hit and at the time they fell.

Even as Bush was attending solemn ceremonies, Republicans and Democrats were feuding over the effectiveness of actions taken by the administration. The issue is being debated with an eye on the mid-term poll — only six weeks away — which could lead to Democrats capturing power in the Congress.

The Republicans are trying to portray that the steps taken by the Bush administration have made the country safer and blame the previous Democratic administration of President Bill Clinton for ignoring the threat of terrorism.

But Democrats say that the Bush administration had been slip shod in the measures it took and the country is more unsafe than at other time.

Democrat argue the administration has not fought the war against terrorism as it should have. — PTI

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Blast cuts power line, plunges Baluchistan into darkness
Khalid Mohammad for ANI

Quetta, September 11
Baluchistan's woes show no signs of abating almost two-and-a-half weeks after the killing of Baluch leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti.

On Monday, a major power crisis loomed before Pakistan's largest province as the power transmission line between Quetta and Sibi suffered extensive damage, leading to large and continuous spells of loadshedding in Baluchistan's 10 districts.

Quetta Electric Supply Company (QUESCO) officials confirmed on Monday that a blast had taken place on the 220 KV power line near Aab Gum.

The officials claimed that some unknown persons had planted an explosive device to damage two pylons and two towers, which led to unrestricted tripping and had plunged vast areas of Quetta, Mastung, Qalat, Khuzdar, Kharan, Qila Abdullah, Pishin, Noshki into pitch darkness.

Though there were reports of a restoration of electricity, QESCO's CEO Brigadier Tasadduq Hussain told reporters that he still expected a power distribution shortfall of 350 megawatts a day, which would mean that people in the above mentioned areas could suffer between eight to 10 hours of loadshedding every day for several days.

Brigadier Hussain said QESCO immediately required Rs.1.05 million to replace the damaged pylons, and warned that till full power was not restored, the public sector undertaking could suffer a loss of Rs.300 million per day.

Monday's grim revelation came a day after 15 persons, including a woman, were wounded by a powerful bomb blast outside a crowded restaurant on Quetta's busy Junction Chowk.

The time device was said to have been strapped to a bicycle that was parked outside the restaurant. Some of the injured are still said to be in a critical state at the local hospital. The explosion destroyed three vehicles, a motorcycle and windowpanes of nearby buildings.

The police said most of the injured have been identified. The names of 11 of them were as follows: Ghazi Khan, Babu Murad, Hasti Khan, Nadir, Naseebullah, Muhammad Hanif, Raza Babar, Naimatullah, Noor Muhammad, Waleed, Aslam and Raza Muhammad. Two of the injured were scavenger children.

According to the police, a case has been registered against the unknown miscreants.

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Rally against Bugti’s killing

Islamabad, September 11
Stepping up their agitation on the killing of Baloch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, Pakistan’s opposition parties held a huge rally in Lahore accusing the military of “ganging up” to establish their writ without taking into account the people’s ethnic sensibilities.

Leaders of the opposition parties including Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy (ARD), Islamist alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and the Pakistan Oppressed Nations Movement (PONM) who took part in yesterday’s rally warned people against anti-state conspiracies allegedly hatched by some Army generals.

PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif asked the gathering over phone from his exile in London to join hands against President Pervez Musharraf and not to give the “dictator” a chance to prolong his tenure.

He said all of Pakistan was with the people of Balochistan in their hour of distress, especially after the “murder” of Bugti in a military raid on August 26.

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Atlantis prepares to dock with space station

Cape Canaveral (Florida), September 11
The space shuttle performed a back-flip today so crew on the international space station could photograph any signs of damage on the belly of Atlantis, which carried the first new addition to the space lab in 3 1/2 years.

The space shuttle was within 600 feet of the space station when Atlantis commander Brent Jett maneuvered the spacecraft into a 360-degree pitch so that photographs could be taken and then transmitted to NASA engineers who will look for any damage from liftoff to the shuttle’s thermal skin.

That inspection technique, along with another performed Sunday using a 50-foot boom with sensors at the end, were implemented following the Columbia accident, which killed seven astronauts in 2003. Foam debris from Columbia’s external fuel tank struck a wing, allowing fiery gases to penetrate when the shuttle returned to Earth.

After reviewing photos from Atlantis’ launch on Saturday, NASA managers saw only a single piece of debris that fell during a part of the liftoff when a debris strike can endanger the shuttle. A thruster cover fell 16 seconds into the ascent at a speed of 230 miles per hour (370 kph), but it didn’t hit the shuttle.

Seven other pieces of foam and ice debris appeared to fall off, including four that seemed to hit the shuttle, but they occurred too late into the ascent when the debris wasn’t moving

fast enough to do much damage. — AP

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