Tour boat capsizes, killing 21 people

A glass-enclosed boat carrying tourists on a senior citizens’ cruise overturned yesterday on a calm lake in upstate New York, killing at least 21 people and sending more than two dozen cold and wet passengers to a hospital.

Authorities were investigating whether a large passing tour boat created a wake that caused the accident, Warren County Sheriff Larry Cleveland said.

The 40-foot Ethan Allen capsized around 3 p.m. on Lake George about 50 miles north of Albany in the Adirondack Mountains.

The accident apparently happened so fast that none of the passengers was able to put on a life jacket, Cleveland said.

Patrol boats that reached the scene within minutes found other boaters already pulling people from the water. All passengers had been accounted for within two hours.

Twenty-seven people were taken to a hospital in nearby Glens Falls. Some suffered broken ribs and some complaining of shortness of breath. Five people were to be admitted, hospital spokesman Jason White said.

Police investigators were at the hospital late yesterday.


BALI, Indonesia

Video shows Bali Bomber just before blast

Police raised the alert level for Indonesia’s capital and the president warned of more attacks yesterday as a chilling video shot the day before showed a suspected bomber clutching a backpack and strolling past diners moments before one of three suicide bombings killed 26 people on Bali.

The near-simultaneous bombings on the resort island also injured 101 people, including six Americans.

The attacks apparently were planned by Southeast Asia’s two most-wanted men, who are believed to be connected to an al-Qaida-linked group, said Maj. Gen. Ansyaad Mbai, a top Indonesian anti-terror official.

Fear of more attacks on tourists prompted Israel to warn its citizens yesterday not to travel to Egypt’s Sinai desert during the upcoming month of Jewish holidays, saying it has information that Arab militants planning strikes against Israelis already are located in the resort area.

The alleged masterminds of the Bali attacks were believed to be Azahari bin Husin and Noordin Mohamed Top, both Malaysians who fled to Indonesia.


QAIM, Iraq

U.S military kill 28 insurgents in offensive

U.S. troops battled insurgents holed up in houses and driving explosives-laden vehicles in a second town near the Syrian border yesterday, killing 28 in an expansion of their two-day-old offensive chasing al-Qaida fighters along the Euphrates River valley, the military said.

Al-Qaida in Iraq claimed to have taken two Marines captive during the fighting and threatened to kill them within 24 hours unless all female Sunni detainees are released from U.S. and Iraqi prisons in the country. The U.S. military said the claim appeared false.

“There are no indications that the al-Qaida claims – are true,” Multinational Force West, the command in the region said. It said it was conducting checks “to verify that all Marines are accounted for.”



Recovery plan draws debate from lawmakers

A $40 billion plan to hurricane-proof the Louisiana coast has ignited a battle over how best to prevent a repeat of this year’s double flooding of New Orleans.

Endorsed by the state’s congressional delegation, the proposal would create a nine-member independent commission that would give Louisiana a large say in how the federal money is spent.

The huge sums involved and the measure’s plan to waive federal environmental laws underscore the dramatic steps that Louisiana lawmakers say are needed to help the state recover from one of the country’s worst natural disasters.



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