$1M Suit Filed Over Security Breach

The 50 stars contain the names of the 23 New York police officers lost in the attacks, plus the 17 U.S. sailors who died in the October 2000 bombing in Yemen of the USS Cole — an attack blamed on Osama bin Laden.

The flag is being given to the Marines because three members of the emergency services unit who died on Sept. 11 were former Marines.

— The Associated Press

Coast Guard Keeps Close Tabs on Busy Ports

L O S A N G E L E S, Nov. 27 — The Coast Guard has a new security program at the nation's largest ports — Los Angeles and Long Beach.

It's training reservists as "sea marshals" to board cruise ships and commercial vessels in search of terrorists.

Teams are also working in San Diego and San Francisco, and may be created elsewhere.

Since the terrorist attacks, the Coast Guard has begun sending armed teams aboard cruise ships several miles off the coast to ensure the proper crew is in control and to check passenger lists.

The marshals also check on what are considered "high interest vessels," from nations such as Libya and Iran.

— The Associated Press

Customs Demands Passenger Lists From International Airlines

WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 — International airlines that don't immediately turn over advance lists of passengers to be screened for possible terrorists face more intensive inspections starting this week.

In a letter to 58 carriers, Customs Commissioner Robert Bonner warned of heightened inspections for those that haven't complied by Thursday, even though a new law gives the airlines until next year to start providing the information.

Many international airlines already offer the information to Customs. But Bonner is urging immediate compliance with the Advance Passenger Information System, which was signed into law last week and gives carriers 60 days to comply.

If not, Bonner said that on Thursday the service "will begin heightened inspections of international flight that pose a national security risk because they do not transmit APIS data."

The letter was sent to 58 airlines that as of Nov. 21 were not providing Customs with advance passenger information. Those airlines include: Saudi Arabian Airlines, Aeroflot Russian Airlines, Air China, Pakistan International Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines.

A spokesman for Royal Jordanian, which also received the letter, said the airline is preparing software to help comply with the new law.

"We are also preparing the required system which will be applicable in the near future which includes the passenger's name, family name, date of birth, passport number, date of issue and expiry," said Ghassan Ali, deputy director general. The airline also has asked all travel agents to have such information available after a flight is booked.

Customs has received information voluntarily from participating airlines since 1988 on international air passengers, including names, birth dates, nationality and travel document numbers. The information is collected at the time of departure and transmitted to Customs while flights are en route to the United States. Information also is transmitted to Customs about crew members as well.

Under the voluntary program with the airlines, Customs currently has access to about 85 percent of international flight passenger information. It has no information on domestic flights, and the new law wouldn't change that. The four hijackings on Sept. 11 involved domestic flights.

— The Associated Press

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