WASHINGTON — The government has warned airlines that terrorists are considering surgically implanting explosives into people in an attempt to circumvent screening procedures, according to U.S. officials.
There is no indication of an immediate plot, but the new information could lead to additional screening procedures at the nation’s airports. Existing scanners would not necessarily detect bombs implanted under a person’s skin, experts said.
While the information suggests such a threat would come from overseas rather than domestic groups, federal officials are ordering precautions both in the U.S. and abroad, the official said.
Bulger pleads not guilty on 19 murder counts
BOSTON — More than 16 years after he fled Boston, former crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger pleaded not guilty Wednesday to participating in 19 murders and committing a host of other crimes dating back to the 1970s.
Bulger said “not guilty” in a subdued but clear voice during his arraignment on the 32-count racketeering indictment as his two brothers watched from the front row.
Bulger, a former top-echelon FBI informant, fled in late 1994 after receiving a tip from his FBI handler that he was about to be charged in another case that has since been dismissed. Now 81, Bulger escaped prosecution until he was captured last month in Santa Monica, Calif.
Man killed by grizzly at Yellowstone National Park
LOS ANGELES — A hiker in Yellowstone National Park was killed by a grizzly bear Wednesday morning after he and his wife surprised a sow and her cubs on a popular trail.
The unidentified couple were about a mile and a half from the trailhead of the Wapiti Lake trail when they encountered the sow and her cubs. The bear, apparently reacting to the perceived threat to her cubs, fatally attacked the man, park officials said. The woman was unhurt.
Nearby hikers heard the woman’s cries and used a cellphone to call for help. The victim died at the scene. Yellowstone law enforcement and emergency medical personnel responded, as did a park employee who serves as a coroner.
Rangers closed all trails and backcountry campsites in the area, which is southeast of Canyon Village. Rangers on foot patrol swept the region for any hikers. The area is a gateway to the Pelican Valley, where it is common to see bears. A bear-warning sign was posted at the Wapiti Lake trailhead.
It was the first bear-caused human fatality in Yellowstone in nearly 25 years, according to park officials.
No charges against Vermont nuke plant officials
MONTPELIER, Vt. — State prosecutors have decided not to charge Entergy Corp. executives with lying to regulators about the presence of underground piping at its Vermont nuclear power plant, saying the executives showed themselves to be untrustworthy but not criminally liable.
Attorney General William Sorrell said a 17-month investigation into testimony that Entergy executives had given to the state Public Service Board concluded that there was no “smoking gun” to show they had committed perjury.
The executives had told the board that the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant didn’t have underground piping that might leak radioactive substances. The pipes were found later not only to exist, but to be leaking tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen that can cause cancer when ingested in large amounts.
Company officials later announced they had misled state officials in their statements, but said they had not done so intentionally.