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1. Unarmed Turkish Christian hijacks jet, seeks pope
Favorite headline of the day? "Pope safe despite hijack." Of course, Pope Benedict XVI was never in danger yesterday as 28-year-old Hakan Ekinci hijacked a Turkish Airlines flight bound from Tirana, Albania, to Istanbul, and directed it to land in Brindisi, Italy. But Ekinci did say he had a message for the pope.

The message he wanted to give Benedict XVI may have been the same message he sent in an August letter, asking the pope to intervene in his efforts to avoid military service. "I am a Christian, and I never want to serve in a Muslim army," Ekinci had written, according to Turkey's Anatolia news service.

Ekinci was a relatively new convert, Brindisi prosecutor Giuseppe Giannuzzi told reporters. "Having taken up the Christian religion, he feared going back to Turkey," he said. Now Ekinci is seeking asylum in Italy, Giannuzzi said.

Ekinci was reportedly unarmed, but he told the pilot that accomplices on another plane would "blow that plane up" if he didn't get his message to the pope. When the plane landed, Turkish passenger Ergun Erkoseoglu told the Associated Press that Ekinci "walked through the middle of the business class and said, 'I apologize to all of you. … Good night."

2. When was God taken out of Amish schools? There's a mini-furor over Tuesday night's CBS Evening News broadcast remarks by Brian Rohrbough, who lost his son in the 1999 Columbine High School shootings. "Since that day, I've tried to answer the question, Why did this happen?" he said. "This country is in a moral free-fall. For over two generations, the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum, expelling God from the school and from the government, replacing him with evolution, where ...

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October 2006

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