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Missile launched as part of exercises
KODIAK - The Air Force launched a missile from Kodiak on Wednesday afternoon following a brief delay brought on by a fishing boat that strayed into a maritime exclusion zone.
The missile lifted off at the Kodiak Rocket Launch Complex at 2 p.m. The launch was part of the annual Northern Edge military exercises in Alaska. Other exercises were held Wednesday in Valdez and at Eielson Air Force Base and Elmendorf Air Force Base.
Air Force Maj. Richard Williamson said the primary mission of the seven-minute flight was to simulate a battlefield ballistic missile attack against some of the 7,500 personnel participating in Northern Edge 2002, the state's largest joint training exercise.
11th labor group backs Ulmer
JUNEAU - A labor organization that represents state supervisors, teachers and other government employees is the 11th such group to endorse Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer's bid for governor.
The Alaska Public Employees Association and AFT State Federation voted last weekend to endorse Ulmer, a Democrat.
APEA/AFT is the parent organization for 22 local unions in Alaska with a combined membership of 6,500 people. Members include state supervisors, human resource personnel, teachers, education support personnel, university professors, law enforcement personnel and trades and crafts employees.
The 11 labor groups endorsing Ulmer represent nearly 30,000 people, according to her campaign.
"Eleven unions and thousands of working Alaskans have already endorsed my campaign," Ulmer said in a press release.
Ulmer endorsements include APEA/AFT, ASEA/AFSCME Local 52, Painters and Allied Trades Local 1140, Public Employees Local 71, Fairbanks Firefighters, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1547, Alaska Regional Council of Carpenters, Inland Boatmen's Union, Ironworkers Local 751, Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 878, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 367.
U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski, the leading Republican candidate for governor, was endorsed this week by the Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association, which represents ferry engineers, deck officers and other maritime workers. Murkowski also has been endorsed by the Teamsters.
Physicians leader speaks on sanctions
JUNEAU - Gerri Haynes, president of the Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, will speak in Juneau today, Friday and Saturday on the economic sanctions against Iraq.
Haynes is scheduled to speak at 6 p.m. today at the Dimond Courthouse on the political response of Iraqi civilians to more than a decade of economic sanctions. The speech is sponsored by the Juneau World Affairs Council. There will be a reception at 5:30 p.m.
Haynes also will speak at 7 p.m. Friday in Room 113 of the Hendrickson Building at the University of Alaska Southeast. Her topic will be the public health effects of war and sanctions, and she'll show the film "Paying the Price," about the effects of sanctions on children. Her UAS presentation is sponsored by Global Connections, the international student club.
Finally, Haynes will present a workshop at 3 p.m. Saturday at the parish hall of the Cathedral of the Nativity.
"Economic sanctions are a cruel, slow, deadly weapon which targets an entire people and concentrates the impact on the poorest and the weakest," Haynes said on the physician group's Web site at www.wpsr.org.
Haynes said 1 million to 2 million people have died in the last 10 years because of the sanctions. Half are children under 5, caught in a vicious cycle of malnutrition and water-borne infections.