Providence – A local professor is heading to Italy this week to take in part in meetings about forming a new government in Afghanistan. Anwar-ul-Haq Ahady teaches Middle East politics at Providence College, but is also leader of the Afghan Social Democratic Party in exile.

Ahady has been an advisor to the former King of Afghanistan. He plans to ask the king not to make too many concessions to the Northern Alliance in planning a new government.

Providence – Providence will not, for now, drop an illegal weapons charge against an Amtrak passenger who says he carries a knife as a religious symbol. Sher Singh, who practices the Sikh religion, was taken off a train and arrested the day after the terrorist attacks.

Singh?s lawyer, Mark Laroche claims police searched and arrested his client, because Sing wears a turban and has dark skin. The state?s concealed weapon law, says Laroche, violates Sikhs? right to practice their religion.

Providence – The Coast Guard has lifted the restrictions it had imposed on the Port of Providence.

The lifting coincides with the departure of a French cargo ship which the Coast Guard escorted out of Narragansett Bay at about 10 a.m. today.

Coast Guard spokesman Lieutenant Joel Roberts said additional restrictions could be imposed again depending on circumstances.

?It will be different from ship to ship, port to port, vessel to vessel," he said.

The Coast Guard established a security zone around the port and part of the Providence River on Monday afternoon.

The Port of Providence is closed for security reasons.

The closure coincides with the arrival of a French-registered cargo ship.

"The reason the Port of Providence was closed was that we had our first cargo vessel call in the port since the invasion of Afghanistan and it was also the vessel's first United States port of call," said Coast guard spokesman Lieutenant Joel Roberts.

He said the port and a portion of the Providence River are closed indefinitely.

Following the attacks on terrorist camps in Afghanistan, Rhode Island is in a state of "heightened alert."

Governor Almond has ordered an increased law-enforcement and National Guard presence at high-risk locations -- but Green State Airport was the only one he would name.

Rhode island National Guard Major Michael McNamara says all guard facilities have been warned to increase their vigilance with security measures but there have been no reports of anything out of the ordinary.

Rhode Islanders are reacting with mixed emotions to the beginning of military action against the perpetrators of last month?s terrorist attacks.

While some posted signs of support on highway bridges or in stores windows yesterday while about 40 protesters gathered in front of the Federal Courthouse in Providence.

?The U.S. has no concept that there are reasons behind this and we have to explore those reasons and push for peace all over the world as opposed to making Afghanistan more of a breeding ground for fundamentalists who are pissed at our government,? one man said.

Members of the Rhode Island Congressional delegation are voicing support for the military strikes that began in Afghanistan yesterday. Democratic Senator Jack Reed and Congressmen James Langevin and Patrick Kennedy say it?s an appropriate response to the September 11 attacks on the United States. ?These individuals are people that hate democracy and hate America and everything that we stand for. It was not going to stop there. These are people who would continue to attack America given the opportunity.

Johnston – Johnston High School was evacuated today, after an apparent prank that sent more than 20 students and teachers to the hospital.

Johnston Police arrested a 15 year-old boy, who is a student at the school for the prank. The boy put chlorine tablets in a soda bottle with rubbing alcohol, which released chlorine gas, according to police. He faces a felony charge of placing a bomb in the school.

A recently completed survey provides the first statistical hints about how much the national tourism slump is affecting Rhode Island. The survey released at a tourism summit shows that 76% of hotels and restaurants responding have had decreases in business since September 11. Nearly half the businesses responding have already cut workers or are planning lay offs.

Many tourism leaders are asking for immediate state assistance. But top state lawmakers attending the summit want to wait before committing state funds.

Providence – A federal judge has denied Johnny Cochran and his legal team permission to represent the mother of the late Police Sergeant Cornell Young Junior. Magistrate Judge Robert Lovergreen is not objecting specifically to Cochran representing Leisa Young. He said in an order this week that there is no need for so many out of state lawyers.

Providence – After 11 years at the helm, Colonel Edmund Culhane is retiring as Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police. Governor Lincoln Almond announced today that the retirement would take effect on October 21. The governor also announced the promotion of Major Steven Pare to Colonel and Superintendent.

The Rhode Island National Guard is mobilizing its first troops to assist with the battle against terrorism. Forty-four members of the Rhode Island Air National Guard will be shipping out this week for active duty as part of a nationwide call-up of reservists. The guardsmen are members of the 143rd Rhode Island Air Wing.

The number of children in Rhode Island without health insurance has dropped to a record low. New statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau for the year 2000 show the number of children in the state without coverage has fallen to 2.4%. That is a decrease from 5.5% in 1999 and the lowest rate among any state in the country. The figures are based on the Census Bureau?s Curent Population Survey conducted in March.

Governor Lincoln Almond is backign President Bush's plan to federalize security at airports. For now, he is not taking up the president's suggestion to call up National Guard troops to provide extra security at T.F. Green Airport. The governor said in a statement he would consider using the National Guard, if there is any need later.

The Executive Director of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation says air travel in this country will never be the same. Michael Cheston welcomes calls for handing security duties at airports over the federal government. In the meantime,he says it's premature to conclude hijackers responsible for last week's terrorist attacks had assitance from workers at any airport. Hear Deborah Becker's conversation with Michael Cheston from WRNI's Morning Edition.