Rusted landing gear from one of the Sept 11 jets that crashed into NY Twin Towers in 2001
NEW YORK (AP) -- A rusted piece of airplane landing gear discovered wedged between two New York City buildings has been confirmed as coming from the type of Boeing jet used to destroy the nearby World Trade Center on Sept. 11.
The American Airlines and United Airlines planes hijacked by Islamic extremists in 2001 were Boeing 767s.
Police said Saturday detectives have been in contact with officials at Chicago-based Boeing Co. who confirm the wreckage is from that kind of plane.
Workers discovered the landing gear part Wednesday wedged between a luxury apartment building and a mosque that in 2010 prompted virulent national debate about Islam and freedom of speech because it's just blocks from ground zero.
BRANDON, Miss. (AP) -- Authorities have charged an ex-martial arts instructor in Mississippi with making and possessing ricin in the investigation into poison-laced letters sent to President Barack Obama and others.
FBI spokeswoman Deborah Madden says 41-year-old James Everett Dutschke (DUHS'-kee) was arrested about 12:50 a.m. Saturday at his home in Tupelo.
The letters, which tests showed were tainted with ricin, were sent April 8 to Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi and 80-year-old Mississippi judge Sadie Holland.
Dutschke is expected to appear Monday in U.S. District Court in Oxford, Miss.
He faces life in prison if convicted.
His lawyer said in a text that she had no comment.
SEDONA, Ariz. (AP) -- Vice President Joe Biden says GOP Arizona Sen. John McCain probably would have defeated his boss in the 2008 presidential election had the economy not collapsed.
Biden on Friday said the election between Barack Obama and McCain would have been incredibly close, but McCain could have squeaked out a victory.
Biden made the comment during a forum that's part of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University.
The two touched on the gun control debate following the Newtown shootings and the bombings in Boston, but made no mention of Syria.
The event was more of an interview of Biden than a discussion between the former Senate colleagues.
McCain says Biden has a unique perspective on the United States' role in the world because of his experience in Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. officials say Russian authorities have shared with Washington details of a secretly recorded telephone conversation in 2011 in which one of the Boston bombing suspects vaguely discussed jihad with his mother.
In another conversation, officials say, the mother of now-dead bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was recorded talking to someone in southern Russia who is under FBI investigation in an unrelated case.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing case.
They say the Russians shared this intelligence with the U.S. in the past few days.
The conversations are significant because, had they been revealed earlier, there might have been enough evidence for the FBI to initiate a more thorough investigation of the Boston bombing suspects' family.
FBI finishes landfill search near Mass. college
BOSTON (AP) -- The FBI has concluded its search of a landfill near a Massachusetts college where the 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was a student.
FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller (EYE'-mihl-er) says the two-day search ended Friday. Eimiller wouldn't say what investigators were looking for or whether they recovered anything from the landfill.
Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) was a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Students say he returned to the campus after the bombings.
Two of his college friends were detained April 20 and were being held at a Boston jail for violating their student visas by not regularly attending classes. A lawyer for one says the two students have been interviewed by FBI agents, cooperated fully and aren't suspects in the attack.
Also, two college buddies of the suspect have been questioned, but a lawyer says they had nothing to do with the attacks. He says the two are being detained in a Boston jail for violating their student visas by not regularly attending classes.
And U.S. officials said his mother had been added to a federal terrorism database months before the April 15 attack. His mother said it's all "lies."
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Aviation Administration says it's suspended all employee furloughs and says air traffic facilities will begin returning to regular staffing levels over the next 24 hours.
The FAA says in a statement that the air traffic system will resume normal operations by Sunday evening.
The announcement comes a day after Congress passed legislation to allow the agency to withdraw the furloughs -- fallout from the $85 billion in automatic-across-the-board spending cuts this spring.
They started to hit air traffic controllers this past week, causing flight delays that left thousands of travelers frustrated and furious.
Republicans accused the Obama administration of forcing the furloughs to raise public pressure on Congress to roll back the budget cuts. The White House complains the FAA fix left the rest of the cuts intact.
FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- The National Weather Service says the Red River appears to have crested about 50 miles upstream of Fargo, North Dakota, and it isn't a top 10 flood.
Forecasters say gentle snowmelt and little precipitation are helping keep levels below the predicted crests. Forecasters have said the Red River in Fargo should crest in the 37- to 39-foot range, which has led volunteers to sandbag about 200 homes.
Fargo residents battled three straight major floods beginning with a record crest of 40.84 feet in 2009.
Meanwhile, the weather service warned that strong thunderstorms would hit eastern Arkansas with hail, high winds and flooding Saturday afternoon.
An in Indiana, Red Cross volunteers have been distributing cleanup kits, including chloride, gloves, mops, brooms and bottled water, to residents affected by flooding along the Wabash River.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- The classic "Star Wars" film that launched a science fiction empire is being dubbed in the Navajo language.
A handful of Navajo speakers translated the script for "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope." Now people are being sought to fill some two dozen roles.
Casting calls are scheduled Monday in Burbank, Calif., and next Friday and Saturday at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz.
Potential actors don't have to sound exactly like Princess Leia or Luke Skywalker but should deliver the lines with character.
Museum director Manuelito Wheeler says he sees the translation as entertaining and a way to preserve the Navajo language.
Wheeler says it's rewarding considering the U.S. once tried to eradicate the language, then called on Navajos to use it during World War II.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A World War II veteran who provided the flag in the famous flag-raising on Iwo Jima has died. Alan Wood was 90.
Wood's son, Steven, says his father died April 18 of natural causes at his Sierra Madre home.
Wood was in charge of communications on a landing ship on Iwo Jima's shores when a Marine asked him for the biggest flag that he could find. Wood handed him a flag he had found in Pearl Harbor.
Five Marines and a Navy Corpsman later raised the flag on Mount Suribachi as Allied forces struggled to capture the Japanese-held island. The stirring moment was captured in an iconic image by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal.
Steven Wood says his father was always humbled by his small role in the historic moment.
YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) -- A prominent New York City feminist, writer and former Ms. magazine editor has been killed in a motorcycle crash. Mary Thom (tawm) was 68.
Thom had a passion for riding motorcycles. Her nephew Thom Loubet (loh-BEHT') confirmed Saturday she died Friday evening riding her 1996 Honda Magna 750 on the Saw Mill River Parkway in Yonkers, just north of New York City.
Thom was a fixture of the women's movement. She wrote a book about its history and was the editor-in-chief of the Women's Media Center.
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem says in a statement Thom was the movement's moral compass.
Loubet says his aunt loved baseball and Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."
Thom is survived by her sister and other relatives. Her death was first reported by The Journal News.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is in a Washington hospital after shoulder replacement surgery following a bicycle accident.
Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg says the 74-year-old Breyer is expected to make a full recovery following the operation Saturday.
Breyer injured his right shoulder in a fall Friday near the Korean War Veterans Memorial.
The justice previously broke his collarbone in an accident in 2011 and sustained broken ribs and a punctured lung in a bicycle mishap in 1993, before he joined the court.
Breyer was appointed to the court in 1994 by President William Clinton.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is joking about a radical second-term shakeup, shifting from "strapping young Muslim Socialist" to retiree golfer and sporting bangs like first lady Michelle's.
Obama used this year's annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner to poke fun at himself and some of his political adversaries, asking if it was still possible to be brought down a peg after 4 1/2 years as commander-in-chief.
Obama entered to rap music but then showed a picture of himself golfing on a mock magazine cover of "Senior Leisure." He noted his recent 2-for-22 basketball shooting performance at the White House Easter Egg hunt.
The president closed by noting the nation's recent tragedies in Massachusetts and Texas.
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