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Nation in brief

Episcopal voters reject gay bishops

Compiled from Times wires
Published May 7, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO - The Episcopal Diocese of California averted another churchwide showdown over the role of gays in their denomination when delegates rejected three openly gay candidates for bishop Saturday.

The diocese chose the Rt. Rev. Mark Handley Andrus of Birmingham, Ala., on the third ballot to replace the retiring Rev. William Swing. None of the gay candidates received more than a handful of votes.

The vote was closely watched by Episcopalians across the nation and their fellow Anglicans worldwide, who have been struggling with deep differences over gay clergy.

The 77-million-member Anglican Communion, represented in the U.S. by the Episcopal Church, is still reeling from the 2003 election of the first openly gay Episcopal bishop - V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

Report: DeLay office knew Abramoff arranged trip

WASHINGTON - Prosecutors have e-mails indicating Rep. Tom DeLay's office knew lobbyist Jack Abramoff had arranged the financing for the GOP leader's controversial European golfing trip in 2000 and was concerned "if someone starts asking questions."

House ethics rules bar lawmakers from accepting free trips from lobbyists. DeLay, R-Texas, reported to Congress that a Republican advocacy group had paid for the spring 2000 trip that DeLay, his wife and top aides took to Scotland and England.

The e-mails obtained by the Associated Press show DeLay's staff asked Abramoff - not the advocacy group - to account for the costs that had to be legally disclosed on congressional travel forms. DeLay's office was worried the group being cited as paying the costs might not even know about them, the e-mails state.

Foreign aviation students detained at N.J. airport

NEWARK, N.J. - Five airline passengers speaking in foreign languages and carrying "aircraft flight materials" were briefly detained Saturday until authorities determined they were returning to their home countries after attending a U.S. helicopter training school.

Fellow passengers on American Airlines Flight 1874, which had departed from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, became suspicious of the men, said Steven Siegel, a spokesman for the FBI's Newark office.

A federal marshal on the plane notified authorities at Newark Liberty International Airport.

The men - identified only as four Angolan military personnel and an Israeli - had attended helicopter training school in Texas, Siegel said.

Police officers took the men into custody soon after the plane landed about 3:20 p.m.

After being questioned by authorities, the men were released around 6 p.m., Siegel said.

The plane was carrying 121 passengers and five crew members.

[Last modified May 7, 2006, 07:08:33]

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