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macon.com Midday Update: Feds warn of terror plotting against NYC subways; metro Atlanta's unemployment rate rises; King Center to honor Hillary Clinton, Truett Cathy

Federal authorities are warning law enforcement personnel of a possible terror plot against the New York City subway system during the holiday season.

An internal memo obtained by The Associated Press says the FBI has received a "plausible but unsubstantiated" report that al-Qaida terrorists in late September may have discussed attacking the subway system.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko confirmed only that his agency and the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin last night to state and local authorities, and the information is being reviewed.

Department of Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said the warning was issued as a routine matter, but added that there may be an increased police presence in New York and other large metropolitan areas.

The report indicates that al-Qaida terrorists "in late September may have discussed targeting transit systems in and around New York City. These discussions reportedly involved the use of suicide bombers or explosives placed on subway/passenger rail systems," according to the document.

"We have no specific details to confirm that this plot has developed beyond aspirational planning, but we are issuing this warning out of concern that such an attack could possibly be conducted during the forthcoming holiday season," states the warning, which is dated Tuesday.

While federal agencies regularly issue all sorts of advisory warnings, the language of this one is particularly blunt.

No changes are being made to the nation's threat level, or for transit systems at this time, he said.Associated Press

Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate rises

Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate shot up to 6.8 percent in October, jumping more than 2 percentage points from the same month last year.

The Georgia Department of Labor said Wednesday the city's unemployment rate rose four-tenths of a percentage point since last month.

It comes on the heels of discouraging statewide news announced last week: Georgia's rate of unemployment rose to 7 percent in October, the highest in 16 years.

Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond commended President Bush for approving extended unemployment benefits, which will apply to more than 90,000 Georgians who may be eligible for them.

Associated Press

King Center to honor Hillary Clinton, Truett Cathy

The King Center's "Salute to Greatness" awards will be presented to U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, and Chick-fil-A restaurant founder S. Truett Cathy on Jan. 17.

Isaac Newton Farris Jr., president and CEO of The King Center, said Tuesday both Clinton and Cathy have set the highest standards of social responsibility in their respective fields.

He said, "We look forward to thanking them for their humanitarian contributions toward fulfilling the dream of Martin Luther King Jr."Associated Press

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