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Saturday, February 26, 2005; Page A07

Buffalo Nickel Returns After 67-Year Absence

Sixty-seven years after the government minted its last buffalo nickel, the symbol of the American West is returning to the 5-cent piece.

The United States Mint has shipped 97 million of the new coins to the Federal Reserve's 12 regional banks, and they will start distributing the coins to local banks Monday. The nickels should start showing up in stores' change drawers within a few weeks.

For those who cannot wait that long, the Mint has planned an elaborate launch ceremony in Washington on Tuesday.

The coins will also be on sale at the Mint's Web site starting Monday.

U.S. Identifies Remains Of Korean War Pilot

Closing a chapter of Korean War history, the Pentagon announced it has identified the remains of an Air Force pilot whose jet crashed on Chinese territory after being shot down during a dogfight with a Russian flying for North Korea.

The case puts a spotlight on a Russian role in the Korean War (1950-53) that was kept quiet for decades and helped feed speculation inside the American government that the Russians had attempted -- and perhaps managed -- to capture U.S. pilots to exploit them for intelligence purposes.

Capt. Troy "Gordie" Cope, of Norfolk, Ark., was piloting what was then the Air Force's best fighter, the F-86 Sabre, on Sept. 16, 1952, when he encountered MiG-15 fighters -- purportedly North Korean but flown by Russians -- over the Yalu River, which separates North Korea from China.

Cope, 28, was shot down and never seen again.

FBI Reduces Backlog Of Terror-Related Tapes

The FBI has cut substantially its backlog of untranslated audio recordings from terrorism and espionage investigations since an audit last year found that hundreds of thousands of hours of tape had not been reviewed, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said.

The audit by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine found that more than one-third of al Qaeda intercepts authorized by a secret federal court were not reviewed within 12 hours of collection, as required by Mueller.

President to Nominate Nord for CPSC Post

President Bush said he will nominate Nancy A. Nord, a former director of government relations at Eastman Kodak Co., to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

If confirmed by the Senate, she would join Chairman Harold D. Stratton, a Republican, and Democrat Thomas H. Moore on the commission, which warns about everything from defective treadmills to lead in toy jewelry.

Nord was nominated for a CPSC post by President George H.W. Bush in 1992 but was not confirmed in an election year. The three-member CPSC has had a vacancy since October, when Mary Sheila Gall resigned.

-- From News Services

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