Liberty Fund Controversy; Face Recognition Technology in Action
And there were these footnotes to the story of America at war.
The Red Cross took enormous heat when it tried to funnel money from its Liberty Fund - money donated specifically for Sept. 11 victims and their families. Now, it has announced that it will spend more than $300 million this year on families affected by the attacks, and will shell out another $667 million in 2002. The group also has asked former Dem. Sen. George Mitchell to oversee the disbursement efforts. Mitchell previously led efforts to foster peace in the Middle East and Northern Ireland.
As part of a nationwide effort to boost airport security, Palm Beach International Airport next month will begin using face recognition technology on a trial basis. The face-scanning design sparked controversy last year when it was used as a security device at the Super Bowl. But times have changed and The Miami Herald reports the airports in Boston and Dallas-Forth Worth also will deploy the technology. The equipment, called FaceIt, scans crowds for known terrorists and criminals. It can get readable images from as much as two miles away.
As the hunt for Usama bin Laden continues, a college professor in Canada says he doesn't think the terrorist is so bad. The Toronto Globe and Mail reports a professor at Canada's University of Guelph recently described America's response as an attempt to impose "world corporate rule." John McMurtry compared Usama bin Laden and Al Qaeda to President Bush and the American government - saying "there is little difference in moral substance between these atavistic gangs. Both are mass killers." Atavistic means relying on primordial instincts, traits or practices.
An entrepreneur in North Carolina is planning a celebration for the day Usama bin Laden gets justice. Motel owner Melton Harrell plans to celebrate the special day by offering free rooms at his Best Western in Hendersonville, N.C., along with free food, drink and entertainment. Harrell says his "Dead or Alive" party isn't a gimmick. He predicts the terrorist's downfall will provide a once-in-a-lifetime reason to jump for joy.