USA

A 1998 intelligence report warning of a possible hijacking plot by Osama bin Laden will be released this week by the special commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Washington Post reported Saturday. The one-page declassified briefing prepared for President Clinton is called "the most important PDB [President's Daily Brief] about hijacking published before 9/11" by Philip Zelikow, the commission's executive director. It indicates that the CIA had learned Al Qaeda was working with US-based Egyptian terrorists to hijack a US airliner and force the release of imprisoned conspirators in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The commission, which is to release details of its 20-month investigation on Thursday, will recommend creating a national counterterrorism center and a Cabinet-level entity to oversee the CIA, FBI, and other intelligence agencies.

All classified work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico will be suspended due to security lapses, the lab's director said late last week. In taking the unprecedented step, director Pete Nanos blamed scofflaw "cowboys" who are disobeying rules that govern the handling of sensitive material. "I don't care how many people I have to fire to make it stop," he said.

A fire that blackened nearly 7,600 acres and destroyed at least 15 homes near Carson City, Nev., was 85 percent contained late Saturday, fire officials said. Meanwhile, a 16,000-acre wildfire about 45 miles north of Los Angeles shifted away from the rural communities of Lake Hughes and Elizabeth Lake, but continued to threaten homes and businesses Saturday.

Martha Stewart is expected to serve a jail term in the low- security Danbury (Conn.) Federal Correctional Institution about 20 miles from her home, the Associated Press reported Saturday. The houswares/media mogul was ordered to spend five months in jail and five months in home detention Friday for her conviction of lying to authorities about a stock sale. Her sentence is delayed pending an appeal.

Twenty passengers in a helium-filled balloon tethered 350 feet over Baltimore's Inner Harbor were rescued after high winds tossed the balloon wildly for an hour and a half Saturday. Rescuers were gradually able to lower the balloon despite a failed winch. Four people suffered minor injuries.

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