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In the Nation

Storm threatens in West, Midwest

DENVER - Holiday travelers scrambled to adjust their plans yesterday as a fast-moving snowstorm threatened to bring long delays along with a white Christmas for millions of people throughout the West and Midwest.

The storm system was already snarling traffic in Arizona, with blizzard-like conditions yesterday. South of Phoenix, a dust storm on I-10 set off a series of collisions involving as many as 20 vehicles that killed at least three people.

The blustery weather in Arizona is part of a storm system that promised to bring more than a foot of snow to parts of Colorado and southern Utah by midday today.

Blizzard warnings were likely tomorrow in Kansas and other Plains states as the storm moves east. It was expected to crawl across the Plains states through Christmas Day. - AP

FAA employees are admonished

WASHINGTON - The Federal Aviation Administration is reminding its employees to behave with decorum after hidden TV news cameras filmed FAA employees partying while in Atlanta for a $5 million training program.

The FAA sent 3,600 managers to an Omni hotel there this month for training on the agency's new contract with air traffic controllers, spokeswoman Sasha Johnson said yesterday. It trained 1,200 of them a week over three weeks at a cost of about $1,388 a person, she said.

ABC News captured hidden-camera footage of some employees drinking heavily and going to local bars after the meetings. One asked an undercover ABC reporter if she was a "hooker" because "I was ready to reach for my wallet," ABC News reported.

"We expect a level of professionalism from our employees at all times, including after-work hours," Johnson said.

The only social function attached to the training was a welcome reception with a cash bar and food provided by the hotel, Johnson said. She said no taxpayer dollars were used for it. - AP

Woman is held in threat to first lady

HONOLULU - A woman accused of telling the Secret Service she would "blow away" Michelle Obama was in federal custody yesterday as the Obama family planned to travel to Hawaii.

Kristy Lee Roshia, 35, was charged with threatening a family member of the president and assaulting a federal agent after being arrested Saturday less than two miles from the Kailua home where the Obamas plan to stay during a holiday visit later this week.

Roshia threatened the first lady during a call last month to the Secret Service's Boston office, according to a Secret Service affidavit. Roshia, who was held without bail pending a detention hearing today, has a history of leaving rambling messages and sending poems, love letters, and photos of herself to the Secret Service, the affidavit said. - AP


Five House Republicans, including Reps. Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey and Joseph R. Pitts of Pennsylvania, urged Uganda's president in a letter yesterday to oppose a proposed law that would impose the death penalty for some gay Ugandans. The lawmakers say the bill is antithetical to the Christian belief of "inherent dignity and worth" of all people.