USA

An American Airlines jetliner with almost 200 passengers and crew was diverted to Boston Saturday after a Sri Lankan national traveling on a false British passport tried to ignite an "improvised explosive." The plane was en route from Paris to Miami when the passenger attempted to light a fuse protruding from one shoe. Flight attendants intervened and with the help of passengers subdued and sedated him. Once in US airspace, the plane was escorted to Logan International Airport by two F-15 fighter jets. US and French authorities quickly launched separate investigations. Above, the suspect (right) is whisked away in federal custody. (Story, page 4)

President Bush is expected to seek at least $15 billion in new spending for domestic security needs in his 2003 budget, to fund everything from local police to baggage screening equipment. Homeland Security director Tom Ridge said the budget request will focus on helping police and healthcare professionals respond to possible attacks in the future. Bush is expected to release the proposed budget after his State of the Union address to Congress next month.

Heralded for his steadfast response to a city rocked by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R) was named Time magazine's much-anticipated "Person of the Year." The editors chose Giuliani "for having more faith in us than we had in ourselves, for being brave when required ... for not sleeping and not quitting and not shrinking from the pain all around him." A Time official said hours were spent considering whether to name Osama bin Laden, but in the end he was judged to be "too small a man to get the credit for all that has happened in America in the autumn of 2001."

Using minimum force, authorities quickly quelled an attempt by inmates to take over a wing of a medium-security workhouse in St. Louis. The uprising started at about 6 p.m. Saturday when 53 of 1,290 prisoners attempted to seize a living area, corrections commissioner Dora Schriro said. No employees were injured; some inmates were being evaluated for injuries.

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali was asked by a Hollywood entertainment industry group to film a public service announcement explaining American policy to Muslims in the Middle East, The New York Times reported. A spokeswoman for Ali, who converted to Islam in the 1960's, said he was willing to participate in the commercial and was waiting for details of the project. The segment will be produced by a group loosely called Hollywood 9/11 and overseen by the Motion Picture Association of America.

NASA gave the green light to a new solar system exploration project for 2006, which aims to use the Kepler space telescope to find other planets that, like Earth, could sustain life. The high-tech telescope, using a continuous fixed gaze, will seek "transits" of planets, which occur each time one of them crosses the line of sight between the observer and parent star. A project spokesman said the mission expects to find about 640 terrestrial planets.

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