Called-in threat stops plane just before takeoff

An American Airlines flight bound for New York City was halted just before takeoff Thursday after someone called in a threat, and two people were detained.

American Airlines Flight 24 was grounded at San Francisco International airport before its scheduled takeoff at 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

Passengers were removed from the plane and taken by buses to a terminal where they were sent through security again.

Passenger Michael Kidd told The Associated Press that he saw uniformed police officers handcuffing a young man and a young woman sitting in the back row. They were taken off the plane.

The FBI has confirmed Thursday that at least two people were being questioned in the incident.

“All passengers are safe and out of an abundance of caution, TSA requested the plane be moved to a remote location,” TSA spokeswoman Suzanne Trevino said in a statement.


Obama family begins their summer vacation

Martha’s Vineyard is barely an hour’s flight from Washington, but it felt worlds away as President Barack Obama and his family began their summer vacation Thursday amid the island’s beaches and quaint farmhouses.

Instead of politicians and polls, the Obamas encountered pony farms and ponds. Instead of filibusters, the Vineyard offers fishing. And the only things getting hung out to dry were beach towels.

Before escaping into all that, though, Obama had to dispatch one final duty at the White House. Underscoring the headaches he’s trying to escape, Thursday morning brought the latest batch of grim economic news – another rise in jobless claims.

That led Obama to fire a parting shot at the GOP before leaving town, accusing them of blocking a Senate vote on a small business aid package ahead of crucial midterm elections.


Peace talks between Israel and Palestinians nearing

The Obama administration said Thursday it is near to securing an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians to resume direct peace talks. Some U.S. officials said an announcement could be imminent.

The State Department said an agreement was “very, very close” but that details were still being worked out. An announcement could come as early as Friday or Saturday, said administration officials familiar with the matter.


Online celebrity searches can lead to dangerous sites

If you’re looking for Cameron Diaz, Julia Roberts or Jessica Biel online, look out!

The movie stars top the latest list of the most dangerous celebrities to search for online, according to new research by computer-security software maker McAfee Inc.

It’s far from an Oscar, but landing atop McAfee’s annual list carries a distinction all its own: It means that criminals believe those celebs are the perfect lures to sucker people into visiting malicious websites.

Clicking onto strange sites is sketchy to begin with. But many people do, and their computers get infected. Once a computer is infected, criminals can steal victims’ online banking passwords do other kinds of nasty deeds.

LIMA, Peru

Activist accused of using her baby for sympathy

Peru’s justice minister on Thursday accused American activist Lori Berenson of using her 15-month-old son to try to win sympathy as she was taken back to prison after an appeals court struck down a decision granting parole.

The 40-year-old from New York surrendered to police Wednesday after the ruling, and she was later led into a courthouse lockup holding her son, Salvador, in her arms.

Justice Minister Victor Garcia Toma told reporters the decision to publicly display the boy while being taken into custody “should have been avoided, and certainly a baby can’t be used to create a masquerade of victimization.”

Her husband and lawyer, Anibal Apari, dismissed the criticism, saying Berenson happened to be with her son at a meeting at the U.S. Embassy when her arrest order was announced. He said there are people in Peru, including some in high-ranking positions, who are trying to encourage a hostile climate toward Berenson.

Berenson has served nearly 15 years of a 20-year sentence for aiding leftist rebels after being convicted of terrorist collaboration.


Rabbi detained over book that tells when killing is OK

Police say they have detained a West Bank settler rabbi over a contentious religious book that discusses when it is permissible for Jews to kill non-Jews.

Rabbi Yosef Elitzur-Hershkowitz, who co-authored “Teachings of the king” in 2009, was questioned on suspicion of incitement to racism, among other charges, police said in a statement Thursday.

In the 230-page book, authors conclude that the biblical commandment “thou shalt not kill” applies only to a Jew who might kill a Jew, but babies and children of Israel’s enemies are acceptable targets, and an individual can carry out an attack alone.

The content reflects the extreme views of some Jewish settlers.

Several rabbis have ignored summons to police interrogation.


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