National briefs: 9/11 landing gear found in NYC

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NEW YORK -- Land surveyors working just north of the former World Trade Center site have discovered a piece of an airplane's landing gear, apparently from one of the two planes that crashed into the twin towers more than 11 years ago, the police said Friday.

The twisted metal part, jammed in a sliver of open space between the buildings, has cables and levers on it and is about 3 feet wide and 1.5 feet deep. It includes a clearly visible Boeing Co. identification number and it remained "out of sight and out of mind for over a decade," New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said Friday.

The police were treating the area as a crime scene, Mr. Browne said. It is possible that the medical examiner's office will decide to sift through the soil there in search of human remains, he said.

The surveyors, working for a property owner in the area, were inspecting the rear of 51 Park Place when they found the piece.

Abuse claims too old

NEW YORK -- The sexual abuse of students at New York prep school Horace Mann, alleged from 1962 to 1996, took place too long ago to be prosecuted, Bronx District Attorney Robert T. Johnson said.

Before August 1996, the cutoff had been five years for all felonies other than homicides and two years for misdemeanors.

Mr. Johnson's office began a probe of the allegations after they were reported in The New York Times magazine in June 2012. More than 60 interviews "reveal a systemic pattern of alleged abuse beyond what was outlined in the original New York Times magazine article," Mr. Johnson said.

Mormons endorse gay Scouts

NEW YORK -- The Mormon Church has declared its support for the Boy Scouts of America's proposal to end a longstanding ban on openly gay youths, while continuing to bar gay adult leaders.

The endorsement Thursday by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the country's largest sponsor of scout troops, is a strong indication that the proposed change will be adopted by delegates to the group's annual meeting, to start in Texas on May 22.

Air Force secretary to leave

WASHINGTON -- Air Force Secretary Michael Donley will step down after a five-year tenure during which he improved the service's handling of nuclear materials, but had to deal with scandals surrounding aircraft contracts, sexual assaults by service members and the mishandling of war dead. His last day on the job is June 21.

Also in jobs, President Barack Obama has nominated Howard Shelanski, the top economist at the Federal Trade Commission, to direct the White House office overseeing all federal regulations, a branch of the White House Office of Management and Budget. The Senate this week confirmed Sylvia Mathews Burwell to lead the budget office.

Bulger seeking immunity

BOSTON -- Reputed mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger appeared in court for the first time since his arrest almost two years ago, seeking documents his lawyer said will show he had an immunity deal with the U.S. Justice Department.

The government has accused Mr. Bulger, 83, of participating in 19 murders and running an extortion ring that started in South Boston and over two decades expanded around the city. He was captured after more than a decade on the run.

Sarkozy generous to Obamas

WASHINGTON -- Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his supermodel wife, Carla Bruni, were clearly taken with President Barack Obama and his family back in 2011.

The Sarkozys gave the Obamas more than $41,000 worth of presents that year, becoming the most prolific foreign gift-givers to the first family, documents released Friday show.

The gifts ranged from designer golf and travel bags and fine crystal to soaps and perfumes, according to the State Department's Office of Protocol. The president may not keep the gifts unless he pays the U.S. government an amount equal to their value.

Missing inmate surrenders

OKLAHOMA CITY -- After 14 years on the run from the FBI and tips from witnesses in two countries, David Lee Kemp turned himself over to authorities in southwest Oklahoma early Friday morning, local authorities said.

Kemp, of Lawton, Okla., was the only inmate to elude capture after escaping with eight other inmates on March 11, 1999, while awaiting trial on two first-degree murder counts in the killings of his ex-wife and her boyfriend.

-- Compiled from news services



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