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Author: Bombing indictment names me

The author of a book exploring conspiracy theories surrounding the Oklahoma City bombing says he is the person named in a sealed indictment handed up last week by a grand jury.

David Hoffman said he was indicted for allegedly sending copies of his book, The Oklahoma City Bombing and The Politics of Terror, to jurors while the panel was meeting, the Tulsa World reported Saturday. Hoffman wouldn't say whether the allegation is true.

"For them to render a decision like this is absolutely ludicrous," Hoffman said. "When they talk about jury tampering, who has had more influence _ me or the District Attorney's Office or the judge?"

The grand jury's report, issued Wednesday, rejected several conspiracy theories that have persisted since the bombing.

Attempts to reach Hoffman on Saturday were unsuccessful. Federal prosecutors have said they will not comment on the sealed indictment until the person is arrested.

Hoffman, who telephoned the Tulsa newspaper Friday, said he is "on the road" and does not plan to surrender to authorities immediately. He said he has a deferred sentence on a stalking charge and is concerned the new indictment could result in a lengthy jail stay in Oklahoma County.

Hoffman's book deals with conspiracy theories and allegations that the federal government had prior knowledge of the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that killed 168 people.

Storms may delay today's

launch of Mars lander

CAPE CANAVERAL _ Thunderstorms may delay NASA's planned launch today of a Mars lander.

Forecasters said Saturday that storms would move into the area overnight, reducing the odds of acceptable launch weather to 30 percent. Better weather is expected Monday.

The Mars Polar Lander is scheduled to take off aboard an unmanned Delta rocket in midafternoon and arrive at the red planet in December, landing on three legs near the planet's South Pole.

The Polar Lander will collect and analyze Martian soil for the presence of water ice.

No injuries reported

in cemetery plane crash

EAST FARMINGDALE, N.Y. _ Talk about a brush with death.

A single-engine plane crash-landed in a cemetery Saturday, knocking over gravestones but leaving the pilot and his passenger unhurt.

"It looks like it just fell short of the runway," said Chief Charlie Crimi of the East Farmingdale Fire Department. "It took out some headstones and the tops of trees, but all in all it was a pretty good landing."

The single-engine Beechcraft Sierra propeller plane came to a stop at 9:45 a.m. in Mount Ararat cemetery, about a half-mile from the landing field of Republic Airport, said John Lauth, operations manager at the airport. The crash was about 35 miles east of New York City. The two men on board walked away from the accident but were taken to Nassau County Medical Center for examination.

The pilot suffered a concussion, cuts and bruises, and the passenger had cuts and bruises, said Officer Al Prim, a spokesman for the Suffolk County police. The two told authorities the plane lost power while they were practicing taking off and landing.

Quake-damaged City Hall

reopens in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO _ San Francisco's worst earthquake prompted creation of its glittering City Hall. The latest deadly temblor brought its restoration.

The landmark crowned by a golden dome taller than the U.S. Capitol's reopens Tuesday, nearly a decade after the Loma Prieta quake put cracks in the French Renaissance-style building, forcing its closure in 1995.

The project cost $293-million.

The hall was first erected as a monument to the rebirth of the city, leveled by the 1906 quake.

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