Nation Briefly

SEATTLE – The parents of a 23-year-old activist killed while trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home have sued Caterpillar Inc., the company that made the bulldozer that ran over her.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle, alleges that Caterpillar violated international and state laws by providing specially designed bulldozers to Israeli defense forces knowing the machines would be used to demolish homes and endanger people.

Rachel Corrie, a student at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, was standing in front of a home in a refugee camp in Rafah, a Gaza Strip city near the Egyptian border, on March 16, 2003, when a bulldozer plowed over her.

D.C.: New booster vaccines advised

Hoping to halt the rising number of whooping cough cases in the United States, a federal advisory panel on Tuesday recommended approval of two new booster vaccines. The Food and Drug Administration committee unanimously recommended approval for Boostrix, a single-dose vaccine against whooping cough, tetanus and diphtheria designed for children ages 10 to 16. The committee also unanimously recommended approval for Adacel, intended to protect both adolescents and adults – people ages 11 to 64 – from the same three diseases.

Report: U.S. banks helped dictator

Citigroup, Bank of America and seven other banks enabled former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and members of his family to build a sprawling secret network of accounts to conceal his wealth, Senate investigators charged in a report released Tuesday. The banks allowed Pinochet to use phony account names, offshore accounts and other deceptions to hide an estimated $13 million or more from U.S. examiners and from international prosecutors seeking to seize assets they claim were pilfered from government funds, according to the report by the staff of the Senate Governmental Affairs investigative subcommittee.

Federal judges seek better security

Ailing Chief Justice William Rehnquist presided Tuesday over a meeting of federal judges who implored Congress and the Bush administration to improve judicial security after two recent fatal attacks. The Judicial Conference of the United States approved a resolution Tuesday asking the Justice Department and U.S. Marshals Service to devise ways to bolster security, particularly at judges’ homes. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales ordered a review of judges’ protections.

N.Y.: Weapons-smuggling charges

U.S. authorities in New York charged 18 people in a scheme to smuggle grenade launchers, shoulder-fired missiles and other Russian military weapons into the United States. The arrests resulted from a yearlong investigation in which an FBI informant posed as an arms buyer who claimed to have ties to al-Qaida.

Florida: Schiavo bills in Legislature

Two bills that could block the removal of Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube later this week advanced in the state Legislature Tuesday. Committees from the House and Senate endorsed competing versions of the legislation as lawmakers rushed to prevent the removal of the severely brain-damaged woman’s feeding tube on Friday. Schiavo, 41, has been at the center of a long and bitter court battle between her parents and her husband, who wants to remove her feeding tube so she can die.

N.M.: Snowstorm shuts highways

A slow-moving storm dumped nearly 3 feet of snow on parts of northern and eastern New Mexico, closing major highways, schools and some government offices Tuesday. Gov. Bill Richardson declared a state of emergency in seven counties Tuesday.

Colorado: Girl held in father’s death

A 14-year-old girl was being held in Boulder without bond for investigation of manslaughter Tuesday while officials investigate her claim that she shot her 56-year-old father to death Sunday to help him commit suicide. The girl acknowledged shooting her father, but only after finding him in pain after he had tried to shoot himself to death, sheriff’s deputies said. She indicated she shot her father to “end his suffering,” deputies said.

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Emergency responders surround an ultralight airplane that crashed Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at the Arlington Municipal Airport in Arlington, Washington, resulting in the pilot's death. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
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The city is having a naming contest for its new sod-slaying, hedge-hogging, forest-clumping, Mr-mow-it-all.

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