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Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Notebook: Bush condemns intimidation, attacks on Arab Americans

WASHINGTON — In his socks, as is Muslim practice, President Bush padded through an ornate mosque on Washington's Embassy Row and heard stories from his hosts about Muslim-American women afraid to leave their homes for fear of backlash after last week's terrorist strikes.

"Those who feel like they can intimidate our fellow citizens to take out their anger don't represent the best of America, they represent the worst of humankind and they should be ashamed of that kind of behavior," Bush said at the Islamic Center of Washington.

Up to 350 complaints from Arab Americans have been reported nationwide since the attacks. The complaints include reports of arson and verbal and physical abuse, including two possible hate-crime deaths.

First lady speaks at memorial service for Pennsylvania crash victims

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. — First lady Laura Bush attended a memorial service yesterday for the victims aboard hijacked United Flight 93, which crashed in a Pennsylvania field.

"One of last Tuesday's victims, in his final message to his family, said that he loved them and that he would see them again," Mrs. Bush told about 300 people. "You grieve today, and the hurt will not soon go away. But that hope is real, and it's forever, just as the love you share with your loved ones is forever."

Televangelist apologizes for his comments on attacks

RICHMOND, Va. — The Rev. Jerry Falwell apologized yesterday for saying on "The 700 Club" television show that God had allowed terrorists to attack America because of the work of civil-liberties groups, abortion-rights supporters and feminists.

Falwell said his comments were ill-timed, insensitive and divisive. President Bush had called the minister's statement inappropriate.

"In the midst of the shock and mourning of a dark week for America, I made a statement that I should not have made and which I sincerely regret," Falwell said.

No reservists called up yet from Washington state

The Defense Department was expected to begin activating an estimated 35,000 reservists yesterday, but so far, no military reserve units in Washington state have been called up.

At McChord Air Force Base near Tacoma, a six-member C-17 reserve crew from the 446th Airlift Wing departed for Andrews Air Force Base, Md., yesterday to assist in rescue efforts at the Pentagon. They join 15 reservists from the 446th, all of them trained morticians, who flew to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware last week to help identify bodies. Both groups are part of a volunteer effort and not part of the official call-up, said a 446th spokesman.

Hijacked planes' passengers made dozens of phone calls

PHILADELPHIA — Passengers on two United Airlines flights hijacked in last week's terrorist attacks made 30 calls from on-board telephones, according to the company that provides the service.

Passengers on Flight 175, which crashed into the World Trade Center's south tower, made 10 calls after hijackers took control, according to officials at Airfone, the GTE-owned company that provides the service.

On Flight 93, passengers made 20 calls before the plane plunged into a western Pennsylvania field.

Microsoft, other game companies delay launches

Microsoft plans to delay the launch of a new version of its Flight Simulator, scheduled for this fall, because of speculation that terrorists used the game before attacking the World Trade Center in New York, company officials said yesterday.

Microsoft has delayed the rollout of the 2002 version of the game because it "did not seem to be an appropriate time to launch such a product," the company said in a statement.

The Flight Simulator is very realistic and allows players to simulate flying airplanes over New York City and other places in the United States.

Activision postponed release of its Playstation game "Spider-Man 2 — Enter: Electro" because the superhero battles villains atop skyscrapers resembling the World Trade Center.

Ubi Soft Entertainment said it would delay release of "Tom Clancy's Rogue Spear: Black Thorn" because it contains themes similar to the attacks.

IMF, World Bank cancel September meetings

WASHINGTON — The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank yesterday canceled their meetings scheduled for Sept. 29-30 in Washington because of last week's terrorist attacks.

World Bank President James Wolfensohn and IMF Managing Director Horst Kohler said the normal business of the bank and the fund would not be interrupted by the cancellation.

Three removed from plane after refusing to sit down

CHICAGO — Three people were removed from a plane at O'Hare International Airport yesterday after they locked themselves in the bathroom and refused to return to their seats before landing.

They were taken off an American Airlines flight after it arrived from Austin, Texas, interviewed and released, FBI spokeswoman Mary Lynn Muha said.

"Who knows what they were doing," said police spokesman Pat Camden. "What was stupidity a week ago could be threatening now."

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