Stolen passports topic of U.S. effort

WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security will begin using an Interpol database of stolen passports to screen foreign travelers later this year and is exploring whether to set up a unit at Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France, that would investigate any stolen documents the screeners turn up, officials said yesterday.

The agency expects to launch a 30-day pilot of the screening system at one U.S. airport by fall and, if the effort succeeds, will expand the program nationwide immediately thereafter, department officials said.

After a meeting with homeland security Deputy Secretary Michael P. Jackson, Interpol Secretary General Robert K. Noble said Friday he also asked U.S. officials to consider encouraging other nations to support a port and border security unit to follow up on reports of stolen passports.

- Washington Post

Unknown remains of '01 flight buried

NEW YORK - The last unidentified remains of people killed in the 2001 crash of an American Airlines flight to the Dominican Republic have been interred in two crypts, officials said yesterday.

Families of the 265 victims of the crash in the quiet neighborhood of Belle Harbor, Queens, were invited to a dedication ceremony today at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, said Susan Olsen, a cemetery official. Olsen said the unidentified remains, in four caskets, were entombed at a mausoleum in the cemetery on Friday.

The bodies of all 265 victims of the crash of Flight 587 had been identified, but the Medical Examiner's Office was left with some remains that could not be matched, said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the medical examiner.

- AP

Giuliani would add 35,000 to Army

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Republican presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani called yesterday for boosting the Army by 35,000 troops, saying the nation must project its strength and better handle the aftermath of war.

"President Bush has increased our military strength, and further increases are planned, but we need to do more - much more. We need a force that can both deter aggression and meet many challenges that may come our way," the former New York City mayor told a class of 438 cadets during a commencement speech at the Citadel, a public military college.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates recommended to Bush in January that the Army over the next five years increase its active-duty force by 65,000 troops, to 547,000. Giuliani would raise that to 582,000.

- AP

Elsewhere:

A 48-inch pipe ruptured by a tree spilled up to 2 million gallons of raw sewage into the Hudson River in Yonkers, N.Y., north of New York City, as workers scrambled yesterday to repair the damage.

Search teams probed the chilly water of a lake in the Adirondacks in Paul Smiths, N.Y., yesterday for two college students missing after two canoes and a power boat capsized.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus threatens to bypass P.T. Barnum's home state of Connecticut if its legislature passes a bill prohibiting the use of an elephant-herding tool known as a bullhook.