U.S. Considered Suicide Interceptors

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(Editor's Note: Daily Briefing is a new feature we're trying at Time.com. The idea is to spotlight five or so stories each day that say something interesting and important about our world. Got any comments, suggestions or story ideas? Email them to us.)



U.S. Considered Suicide Interceptors
A BBC investigation finds that some U.S. warplanes were scrambled unarmed on September 11, and that their pilots may have been asked to crash their own planes in order to stop any further hijacked planes targeting U.S. cities. The reason: the threat to the U.S. mainland had been considered so small that only 14 armed fighters were available to defend its airspace that day.

Story: BBC News


Trade Troubles
The already tumescent U.S. trade deficit stands to take a further $4 billion hit at the hands of the European Union, following Friday's World Trade Organization ruling in favor of an EU complaint over tax breaks granted by Washington to U.S. exporters. The U.S. had accepted that the tax breaks violate WTO rules, but argued for a penalty of less than $1 billion in trade sanctions. The scale of the penalty is so deleterious to transatlantic trade that it may force the U.S. and the EU to seek a new out-of-court compromise.

Story: The Associated Press, reported in the New York Times


Tel Aviv is for Lovers
Battered by two years of terror and a war without end, some young Israelis just want to have fun. More than 250,000 people are expected for Friday's 'Love Parade' in Tel Aviv, an annual outdoor celebration of rave culture and techno music inspired by the event of the same name in Berlin that has become the largest annual bacchanal in continental Europe.


Send Me Bruckheimer and Bay!
Time to rewrite those history books; earlier this week divers confirmed the discovery of a downed Japanese midget submarine just outside Pearl Harbor. The sunken sub appears to corroborate a long-held theory that the U.S., not the Japanese, fired the first shot in the Pacific war. The submarine is believed to have gone down just hours before the Japanese began their surprise aerial attack. Let's just hope this new information doesnąt mean we have to watch a remake of "Pearl Harbor."

Story: The New York Times


Of Mice and Cell Phones
You can say a lot of bad things about cell phones. For starters, they're annoying, expensive, and poor quality. But here's one bit of good news: They may not foster tumor growth. In a study of 1,600 mice conducted at the Adelaide-based Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science in Australia, researchers concluded that radio waves from cell phones do not trigger tumor growth.

Story: Reuters, reported in the Miami Herald