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NATIONS (March 17) - The United States has advised the United
Nations to pull its weapons inspectors out of Iraq, the head of the
U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Monday in the clearest signal to date
that war is imminent.
late on Sunday, followed an ultimatum from President Bush that the
world body had just one more day to give its blessing to a
resolution sanctioning the use of force to rid Iraq of suspected
weapons of mass destruction.
But with the
divided Security Council due to begin consultations at 10 a.m.
Monday in New York, France restated a veto threat that is likely to
signal the end of diplomacy and a green light for a U.S.-led
night I was advised by the U.S. government to pull out our
inspectors from Baghdad. Similar advice has been given to UNMOVIC,''
International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei told the
agency's board of governors.
He said that
he had immediately informed the president of the U.N. Security
Council and asked for guidance. He also informed U.N.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan. UNMOVIC is a U.N. agency looking for
weapons of mass destruction.
inspectors remain in Iraq, a U.N. source told Reuters on condition
spokesman in Baghdad said they had not yet received an evacuation
order. A plane is on standby to whisk them out once the order
President Saddam Hussein told his military commanders earlier that
if Iraq were attacked, it would take the battle anywhere in the
world ''wherever there is sky, land or water.''
deadline followed a Sunday summit with Britain, Spain and Portugal
on an Atlantic island in the Azores. ''We concluded that tomorrow is
a moment of truth for the world,'' he said.
Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin told Europe 1 radio on
Monday: ''France cannot accept the resolution that is on the table
in New York... which poses an ultimatum and which envisages an
automatic use of force.''
which like France holds a veto in the council, also said the
U.S.-British-Spanish resolution on use of force ''has no chance'' of
passing. Germany, a council member without a veto, said it could not
agree to any resolution legitimizing war.
the United States, who have a 250,000-strong force in or around the
Gulf, advised their civilians to leave Kuwait, which is the likely
launch pad for an invasion of Iraq.
loomed, U.N. observers, who have monitored the Iraq-Kuwait border
since the 1991 Gulf War, stopped operations in the demilitarized
zone, which invasion forces would have to cross. They said they
expected to quit the zone later on Monday.
landed some of its seaborne marines on a Kuwaiti beach on Monday
after a forecast of violent sandstorms that could hamper an
amphibious assault. A British officer, Captain Alan Massey, told his
men war could come ''within very few days.''
Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf branded the Azores
gathering a ''summit of outlaws'' and told reporters in Baghdad:
''They are in a hurry to carry out a foolish aggression on Iraq but
they will fail.''
the 15-member Security Council had to agree in the next 24 hours on
a resolution laying the groundwork for war. He left no doubt that
the United States and its allies would otherwise move to invade Iraq
without explicit U.N. backing.
of trying to get the minimum nine votes for the resolution,
Washington has ended up with only one nation, Bulgaria, publicly
declaring its support.
a minimum of 30 days for Iraq to meet final disarmament tasks set by
chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix. The Bush administration has
accused France on Monday of taking the pressure off Saddam. ''The
damage done by this threat of a French veto to the whole diplomatic
process has been enormous,'' Mike O'Brien, a junior minister at the
Foreign Office, told BBC radio.
stands firm, London and Washington are expected to give up on the
U.N. process rather than face humiliating defeat.
expected to go on television this week warning Americans of the
coming war and giving U.N. inspectors and humanitarian workers time
to quit Iraq, U.S. officials say.
Saddam said on Sunday it was a ''great lie'' that Iraq still had
banned weapons and branded the United States ''the unjust judge of
the world.'' Foreign Minister Naji Sabri said tens of thousands of
''martyrs'' were ready to fight Americans.
enemy opens the war on a large scale it should realize that the
battle between us will be waged wherever there is sky, earth and
water anywhere in the world,'' Saddam told officers at a meeting
reported by the state Iraqi News Agency.
considering attending a Security Council meeting on Tuesday when
Blix is to speak about key tasks for Iraqi disarmament, diplomats
say. If he comes other foreign ministers are bound to follow, for
the fifth time this year.
Prime Minister Tony Blair and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria
Aznar face overwhelming domestic opposition to a war. Blair also
faces a potential revolt in his Labor Party if war goes ahead
without explicit U.N. backing.
resolution before the council has a March 17 deadline for Saddam to
scrap or account for any chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.
Britain has offered to put off that date for some days if the
measure has a chance of adoption.
If there is
no vote on the new resolution, the United States, Britain and their
supporters are likely to argue that an invasion is justified by
Resolution 1441, adopted on November 8, which threatened ''serious
consequences'' if Iraq did not disarm.
been invited to Baghdad although diplomats said it was unlikely at
this point he would go. He said he was still evaluating the
REUTERS Reut06:10 03-17-03
of the most prominent female hip-hoppers of the 1990s thanks to her
soulful and uplifting rhymes, Queen Latifah has also crafted an increasingly
successful screen presence.
Born Dana Owens in East Orange, NJ, in March of 1970, the
daughter of a police officer worked at Burger King before joining
Ladies Fresh as a human beatbox. Disgusted at the misogynistic,
male-dominated rap scene, Owens adapted the moniker of Queen
Latifah (meaning delicate and sensitive in Arabic) and
was soon on her way to changing the way many people looked at hip
hop. Soon gaining a loyal following due to her unique perspective
and role model-inspiring attitude, Latifah recorded the single
"Wrath of My Madness" in 1988 and the following year she released
her debut album, All Hail the Queen. Making her feature debut three
short years later in Spike
Lee's Jungle Fever, Latifah began refining a
screen persona that would be equally adept in both drama and comedy.
After increasingly prominent roles in Set It
Off (1996), Living Out
Loud (1998), and The Bone
Collector(1999), the Queen was given her own personal televised
outlet in the form of The Queen Latifah Show in 1999. Losing her
brother in a motorcycle accident in 1995 (she still wears the
motorbike's key around her neck) in addition to grieving a friend
who was shot when the two were carjacked the same year, Latifah has
persisted in overcoming tragedy to remain positive and creative. The
talented songstress has also appeared as both the Wicked Witch of
the West (1998's The Wizard of Oz) and Glenda the Good (The
O.Z. in 2002), in addition to remaining an innovative and inspiring
recording artist. In 2003 Latifah found herself Oscar nominated for
her role in director Rob Marshall's Chicago (2002). Later that same
year the multifaceted singer/actress would join Steve Martin for the
odd couple comedy Bringing Down the House. ~ Jason Buchanan, All
SALT LAKE CITY (March 1) - Elizabeth
Smart wore braids and a big smile in her incredible return home,
nine months after she was taken in the middle of the night from the
bedroom where she was sleeping next to her younger
Months of prayers were answered Wednesday
when sharp-eyed residents led police to the 15-year-old, who was
alive and healthy and walking down a suburban street with a drifter
the sister had said, months earlier, could be the
As her tearful parents embraced their
daughter, investigators booked the drifter and his wife for
investigation of kidnapping and began trying to answer the questions
on everyone's minds: How was Elizabeth taken? Where did she go? What
kept her from crying out for help even as she roamed the streets
just minutes from her home?
Smart family spokesman Chris Thomas said
Elizabeth answered the last question herself: ''She said there was
no way, she had two people with her at all times.''
Police in the Salt Lake City suburb of
Sandy arrested Brian Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee, on
Wednesday afternoon after getting calls a minute apart from two
couples who saw a man and two females wearing bedraggled veils and
carrying bedrolls and bags. Elizabeth, Barzee and Mitchell, who is
also known as Emmanuel, were all wearing wigs when they were
stopped, authorities said.
Ed Smart said Thursday that he had not
asked his daughter for details about her nine months away from
''Physically she's OK,'' he told CBS's
''The Early Show''. ''I know that she's been through brainwashing.
For her to have gone through the past nine months has just been
horrible, absolutely horrible.''
Mitchell, a self-styled prophet for the
homeless, and Barzee were taken to the Sandy police station and
later booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of
aggravated kidnapping. Mitchell, who had worked briefly at the
Smarts' home, was also being held on an outstanding warrant for
Barzee's stepdaughter, Louree Gayler, was
12 when her mother married Mitchell. She said they prayed for hours
and expected her to do the same, and that she felt uncomfortable and
went to live with her father after three years.
''There could have been a little bit of a
brainwashing, they're very good at that,'' Gayler told NBC's
''Today'' show. ''Or there could have been drugs
She said Elizabeth may have been
kidnapped to ''give my mom back something she lost'' when Gayler
left home. ''Elizabeth resembles me at 15,'' she told the
Asked if her stepfather was sexually
abusive, she said there were ''hugs, kisses that were kind of
uncalled for'' and she was sometimes uncomfortable with the way he
stared at her.
''He shot a dog in front of us, made me
eat my own rabbit for dinner, things like that,'' she told ''The
Rudy and Nancy Montoya had spotted
Mitchell walking with two people in Sandy, a Salt Lake City suburb,
and Rudy Montoya said he recognized the man from television
The Montoyas called police just as Anita
and Alvin Dickerson drove past the trio, had the same thought about
Mitchell and stopped their car. Anita said she walked up to the man
and looked him in the eye.
''I knew it was him from the pictures I
had seen on television,'' she said.
What she didn't realize was that the
veiled person walking between the two adults was Elizabeth. ''I
thought she was an older lady wearing a scarf,'' Dickerson
Sandy Police Chief Stephen Chapman said
that when officers questioned Elizabeth on the street with the other
two present, they had to ask several times what her name
''It took some time before we could
actually determine that it was her,'' he said. ''Under the
circumstances, that was probably very normal.''
He said she explained why she was wearing
a veil, wig and sunglasses but declined to say elaborate. He also
declined to comment on whether she was abused, and said he didn't
know if she had tried to escape.
Ed Smart received a call Wednesday from
Sandy police, telling him to drive to their headquarters without
stopping. Minutes later, he and Elizabeth were reunited.
''All of the children out there deserve
to come back to their parents the way Elizabeth has come back to
us,'' he said, breaking into tears. ''It is nothing but a miracle. I
just held her, held her all the way home.''
Elizabeth's uncle Dave Smart said she
appeared well-fed. She was examined at a hospital and taken
''We have Elizabeth, we have the person
who took her,'' Dave Smart said. ''You couldn't ask for any better
closure than that.''
Salt Lake City Police Chief Rick Dinse
said investigators were convinced Elizabeth was kidnapped. Asked
whether he believed she was held against her will, Dinse said, ''At
this point, yes, I do.''
Police tried to piece together the events
of the past nine months, with details emerging that she may have
been as far away as California at times and as close as Salt Lake
Elizabeth told her father she spent some
of the time she was abducted in San Diego, Chris Thomas said.
Witnesses also reported seeing Mitchell and two female companions at
a San Diego County grocery store around Christmas.
Daniel Trotta, 24, told The Associated
Press that he believed Elizabeth stayed in his basement apartment in
Salt Lake City for nearly a week in October after Trotta befriended
Mitchell, a customer at the health-food store where he once worked.
Trotta said he invited the couple and the girl who was with them to
stay because they had no home.
Mitchell introduced the girl as his
daughter, Trotta said. She said little, always wore a veil and made
no effort to escape. Trotta said when he asked once for her name,
Mitchell ordered the girl not to respond.
Trotta went to police Sunday after he
recognized Mitchell on ''America's Most Wanted.'' He said police
dusted his apartment for fingerprints Tuesday. A police spokeswoman
could not immediately confirm that officers had been to the
Mitchell's relatives have described him
as a self-proclaimed prophet and outdoorsman who has lived in a
teepee in mountains outside the city.
Elizabeth's mother, Lois Smart, said in
February that she met Mitchell in downtown Salt Lake City when he
asked her for money. She gave him $5 and hired him to help her
husband repair their home's roof in November 2001. He worked at the
home for about five hours. Seven months later, Elizabeth
Police initially focused on another
handyman who worked for the Smarts, Richard Ricci, who denied being
involved in Elizabeth's disappearance. He died in August while in
prison on a parole violation.
The Smart family grew increasingly
critical of police for focusing too much on Ricci. In mid-October,
Mary Katherine, Elizabeth's 10-year-old sister who was the sole
witness to the abduction, told her parents she thought Mitchell -
known then to the family as Emmanuel - could have been the one who
Mitchell's sister called law enforcement
after the Smart family held a news conference Feb. 3 to circulate an
artist's sketch of the man and provided a photo of her
Last summer, the Smarts held twice-daily
news briefings and thousands of volunteers combed the foothills of
Salt Lake City for any sign of Elizabeth.
The family often got calls from the
police alerting them to grisly discoveries that might be linked to
their missing daughter; they wanted the Smarts to know before the
story hit the news.
Sometimes, the news beat the police.
Hands and feet had been found in a canyon, or bones had been
discovered in the desert. The Smarts would call police to ask if it
was Elizabeth. Every time, the answer was no.
The day Elizabeth was found, her family
renewed its call for a national ''Amber Alert'' system to swiftly
notify the public of missing children through the media.
''We are very, very relieved,'' said
Marilyn Ward, director of Child Search, a national missing children
center based in Houston. ''This should help the cause of missing
children everywhere. We are thankful she's alive. It gives hope to
people to never give up.''
BEIJING (March 12) - The Chinese
government has ordered the Rolling Stones to ax four of their
best-known hits from their landmark mainland shows next month, a
concert organizer said Wednesday.
The band, which is scheduled to perform
in Shanghai April 1 and in Beijing April 4, will not be allowed to
play ``Brown Sugar,'' ``Honky Tonk Women,'' ``Beast of Burden,'' or
``Let's Spend the Night Together,'' said Chen Jixin head of Beijing
Time New Century Entertainment, a concert organizer behind the two
The four songs, all of which include
sexual references, were originally cut from the mainland release of
the band's ``40 Licks'' compilation album by China's culture
ministry, Chen said. ``Brown Sugar'' refers to an interracial
The album was released by EMI Records
China earlier this year. It was the first Rolling Stones album to
legally hit the China market; pirated Stones' CDs are widely
available in Shanghai and Beijing.
Chen said she didn't know why the
government had banned the four songs. The Chinese Ministry of
Culture said no one was immediately available for
Only songs on the officially released
``40 Licks'' album will be allowed during the China shows, Chen
The mainland set changes will not be the
first time the Stones have run afoul of censors.
In 1967, the Rolling Stones appeared on
``The Ed Sullivan Show'' in the United States to sing ``Let's Spend
The Night Together.'' To satisfy censors, Mick Jagger sang ``Let's
spend some time together.''
When asked about the Beijing and Shanghai
performance dates in Tokyo last week guitarist Keith Richards said:
``It's about time they let us in.''
The band first applied to perform in
China in the 1970s and was refused permission.
03/12/03 11:19 EST
SPACE CENTER, Houston (Feb. 8) - NASA
investigators are anxious to examine a small, ragged piece of one of
Columbia's wings because it may give important new clues about why
the space shuttle broke apart in the final minutes of its return to
Earth a week ago.
The debris includes a 26- to 27-inch-long
piece of a carbon-hardened tile that was part of the leading edge of
a Columbia wing. Failure of the thermal control tiles on the space
shuttle's left wing is suspected in the destruction of
Ron Dittemore, shuttle program manager at
the Johnson Space Center, said Friday it was unknown if the debris
was from the left wing, where Columbia's trouble may have started,
or from the right wing, which gave no indication of
''Certainly we're more interested in the
left wing,'' he said. Each of 27,000 pieces of the shuttle's tile
system carries a heatproof serial number so engineers are expected
to pinpoint exactly where the wing part came from.
The wing part was found near Fort Worth
and is part of the thousands of Columbia pieces that fell across
Texas and Louisiana last Saturday morning when the shuttle broke up
during a high speed drop from space toward a landing at the Kennedy
Space Center in Florida. The accident killed seven
Dittemore said a high-definition military
photo shot in the final moments of Columbia's flight is ''not very
revealing,'' despite the claim by some it shows a ragged leading
edge on the left wing and a plume of vapor or smoke trailing
The photo, shot by a powerful Air Force
telescope camera in New Mexico, shows a fuzzy, batwing-shaped
silhouette of the shuttle with a dark gray streak behind the left
''It is not clear to me that there is
something there,'' he said.
Some people have said they see damage on
the left wing, thought to be the heart of Columbia's problems,
''It does look like there's something
just a little different about the left-hand side behind the wing
than the right-hand side,'' Dittemore said. ''That does look a
little different to us and is an area of investigation.''
He said the photo doesn't resolve the
question of whether the shuttle may have been seriously damaged by a
chunk of foam debris that struck Columbia on the left wing shortly
''It does not indicate whether an event
occurred on launch day, in orbit or even during re-entry,''
Dittemore said. ''You cannot tell from that photograph that an event
Dittemore also presented diagrams that
show the gradual thermal changes detected by sensors in the left
wing and along the base of the adjoining fuselage. Some sensors
registered a gradual increase in heat while others abruptly stopped
working, as if wires had been severed or burned through.
Hopes have faded that NASA might get more
information from data from the final 32 seconds recorded between the
time Johnson Space Center's computers stopped reading the data to
the point all sensors went dead. The data was too garbled to be
interpreted and was largely useless, said James Gavura, director of
NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System.
''There was 31 seconds (of silence) and
then 1 more second of data,'' Gavura said.
That second could contain information on
the position of the orbiter just before it began to tumble and break
up, he said.
Although that second hasn't been verified
as shuttle data, Gavura said it appears to have the proper
NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe arrived
at Johnson Space Center on Friday afternoon after spending the
morning at a memorial service for the seven astronauts at Kennedy
O'Keefe met with an independent advisory
board, which took the lead in the investigation Thursday, and
addressed NASA employees about their concerns as the investigation
''Right now, we want to find out what
happened.'' he stressed. ''No one person will be
OREGON CITY, Ore. (Aug. 25) - FBI agents
searching for two missing girls found human remains in a shed and
began digging beneath a concrete slab behind the house of Ward
Weaver, a neighbor who has described himself as a suspect in the
girls' disappearance. Authorities would not say if the body found
Saturday was that of either Ashley Pond or Miranda Gaddis, two
13-year-olds who lived in a nearby apartment complex. The remains
were handed over to a medical examiner, and investigators planned to
continue searching the property Sunday. Weaver's attorney, Timothy
Lyons, told The Oregonian that his client provided written
authorization for the search because he wanted to ``bring closure to
the families.'' Weaver, who has not been charged in the
disappearances and has denied any involvement, was arrested Aug. 13
on unrelated rape charges involving his 19-year-old son's
girlfriend. He is being held on $1 million bail. Following the
alleged rape, the upset son told 9-1-1 dispatchers that his father
killed both Ashley and Miranda. Weaver knew Ashley, who was a friend
of his daughter. She frequently stayed overnight at the Weaver
house, went on a trip to California last year with Weaver and his
daughter, and even lived at the house for several months last year
while her own father was in jail on charges of abusing her. Ashley
disappeared Jan. 9. She was last seen eating breakfast with her
younger sister and was to walk to a bus stop near Weaver's home in a
low-income development tucked into a wooded valley south of
Portland. Miranda's mother, Michelle Duffey, said she last saw her
daughter on March 8. After the second disappearance, investigators
interviewed scores of residents at the complex, went on national
television with appeals for information and passed out fliers with
pictures of the missing girls. The FBI received thousands of tips,
but were unable to single out a suspect. Then came the phone call
from Weaver's son. When residents found out, they urged authorities
to dismantle a concrete slab that Weaver had poured shortly after
Miranda's disappearance, and Ashley's former stepmother taped a sign
reading ``Dig Me Up'' on slab. Weaver told reporters several months
ago that the FBI considered him the prime suspect. Ashley had
accused Weaver of molesting her the previous summer, but he denied
the allegations and was never charged. Weaver, a 39-year-old single
father whose own father is on death row in California, told The
Associated Press in an interview last month that he treated Ashley
as a daughter when she came to visit. He said he noticed Ashley
often wore halter tops and mini skirts, and that he often asked her
to change into something more appropriate while at his house. ``My
sister, the first time she saw Ashley, she told me I got to watch
myself,'' Weaver said at the time. ``I said 'shut up, she's 12.'''
Weaver has said he often gave Ashley a ride to Gardner Middle School
in his 1977 Ford Thunderbird. Weaver was evicted from the
single-story house after his sma arrest on the rape charge, and the
FBI began searching the property Saturday morning. Activity in the
fenced-off yard picked up around 3 p.m. Saturday, as crime
reconstruction teams, digging equipment and FBI agents poured into
the fenced-off area. A medical examiner's vehicle pulled up about
two hours later and backed into a shed near the house. Around that
time, the girls' grandfathers - Don Martin and Wesley Duffey -
abruptly left the search scene, saying they had to be with their
daughters. ``Wes got a call from the FBI that said, 'Get to your
family now,' `` said Cassie Winter, a friend of the families.
Charlie Mathews, special agent in charge of the FBI's Portland
office, later announced that the remains of one person had been
found. Neighbors reacted with horror to the discovery of human
remains on the property and said the FBI should have acted sooner.
``I'm kind of surprised it took this long to really go in and search
this place,'' said Aaron Hixon, a 28-year-old neighbor. ``The girls
had been in and out of his house. He certainly had the opportunity
to do whatever he wanted.'' 08/25/02 08:11 EDT
WASHINGTON (Nov. 15) - One of the top two-dozen
al-Qaida leaders sought by the United States in its war on terrorism
was captured recently and is in Ame custody, U.S. government sources
said on Friday.
The sources declined to name the operative for Osama
bin Laden's network who was caught in the past week or so. But it
was not top lieutenant Ayman al-Zawahri, operational leader Khalid
Shaikh Mohammed, nor bin Laden's son Saad.
U.S. authorities have become increasingly concerned
this week that al-Qaida was planning fresh attacks.
The FBI said that in selecting its next targets, the
network may favor ''spectacular attacks'' that result in mass
casualties and severe damage to the U.S. economy.
Contributing to that concern was an audio tape
broadcast earlier this week on the al-Jazeera television channel in
Qatar believed to be of bin Laden praising recent attacks and making
The United States blamed
bin Laden and his al Qaeda network for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks
on America that killed about 3,000 people.
Senior al-Qaida leaders in U.S. custody include Abu
Zubaydah and Ramzi Binalshibh, who were being interrogated at an
undisclosed location overseas.
''There have been a number of -- numerous senior
leaders of al Qaeda that have either been eliminated, incarcerated
or detained someplace,'' national security adviser Condoleezza Rice
said without elaborating.
President Bush earlier this week, in response to a
question about the audio tape, said, ''We'll chase these people down
one at a time. It doesn't matter how long it takes, we'll find them
and bring them to justice.''
WASHINGTON (Oct. 12) - President Bush is considering plans for a
postwar Iraq that could keep U.S. troops in the Middle Eastern
country long after President Saddam Hussein's departure.
One model being reviewed is the post-World War II occupation of
Japan by an American-led military government, Secretary of State
Colin Powell said Friday. Another, he said in a National Public
Radio interview, is the postwar occupation of Germany.
Powell said no single model has been selected, but American
troops would be bound to remain in Iraq if the United States fights
a war to depose Saddam ``until you could put in place a better
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said ``the United States will
not cut and run'' if Bush considers it necessary to disarm Iraq by
force under authority granted by Congress. Administration policy is
that Saddam must be removed from office.
``The administration is working to find ways to help achieve
stability for Iraq and for the region,'' Fleischer said. ``And we
are considering a variety of ways to do so with our international
partners, with the possibility of the United Nations'' being
involved as well.
Several administration officials said Bush's top aides, including
national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, would oppose a military
government. Among their concerns: Occupation might inflame Iraqis
along with Muslims in other countries.
But as Bush moves closer to war if Iraq refuses to disarm, his
bid for backing from the United Nations is encountering stiff
resistance, especially from France.
In a move to placate France, U.S. diplomats offered to remove a
threat to use all means necessary to force Iraq to disarm. France
still objected because the resolution would threaten consequences if
Iraq remained defiant.
Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Sergey Lavrov, said
his government was not yielding in its opposition to a green light
for military intervention in Iraq.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said, ``The member states want
a two-stage approach: Send in the inspectors, and if they get into
trouble, if it fails, come back and we will pass the second
Under France's strategy, that second resolution might include
using force against Iraq.
Congress, on the other hand, gave the president authority to use
force against Iraq, even without the United Nations if necessary,
and Bush plans to sign the resolution next week.
Bush and Powell hope the votes in Congress will build momentum
for a tough U.N. resolution.
Iraq, meanwhile, confirmed in a letter that it is ready to allow
U.N. weapons inspections after a lapse of nearly four years.
The White House has said Bush has not decided whether to use
military force. But defense officials said the Pentagon has ordered
the Army's V Corps and 1st Marine Expeditionary Force to deploy
headquarters staffs to Kuwait, The Washington Post reported in its
Saturday editions. It is the first non-routine dispatch of ground
troops to the Persian Gulf region, the newspaper said.
10/12/02 06:12 EDT
WASHINGTON (Nov. 15) - One of the top two-dozen al-Qaida leaders
sought by the United States in its war on terrorism was captured
recently and is in Ame custody, U.S. government sources said on
The sources declined to name the operative for Osama bin Laden's
network who was caught in the past week or so. But it was not top
lieutenant Ayman al-Zawahri, operational leader Khalid Shaikh
Mohammed, nor bin Laden's son Saad.
U.S. authorities have become increasingly concerned this week
that al-Qaida was planning fresh attacks.
The FBI said that in selecting its next targets, the network may
favor ''spectacular attacks'' that result in mass casualties and
severe damage to the U.S. economy.
Contributing to that concern was an audio tape broadcast earlier
this week on the al-Jazeera television channel in Qatar believed to
be of bin Laden praising recent attacks and making fresh
The United States blamed bin Laden and
his al Qaeda network for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America that
killed about 3,000 people.
Senior al-Qaida leaders in U.S. custody include Abu Zubaydah and
Ramzi Binalshibh, who were being interrogated at an undisclosed
''There have been a number of -- numerous senior leaders of al
Qaeda that have either been eliminated, incarcerated or detained
someplace,'' national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said without
President Bush earlier this week, in response to a question about
the audio tape, said, ''We'll chase these people down one at a time.
It doesn't matter how long it takes, we'll find them and bring them
CHICAGO (Feb. 17) - It was a chaotic
scene: Hundreds of screaming people stumbling down the darkened
stairs of an illegally operated nightclub, gasping for air and
stepping on bodies, only to find themselves trapped at the bottom
trying to escape through a single exit.
At least 21 people were killed and 57
injured in the stampede early Monday at the crowded E2 nightclub,
authorities said. There were reports that as many as 500 people were
crammed into the second-floor club when someone sprayed Mace or
pepper spray to quell a fight about 2 a.m.
The nightclub was operating in violation
of a months-old court order meant to close it down, fire officials
``The owner knows damn well that he is
not to open that second-floor facility,'' said Fire Commissioner
James Joyce. City officials said they plan to go to court as early
as Tuesday to seek criminal contempt charges against the
The nightclub had been cited for 11
building code violations and the city has been in court with the
owners since last July, officials said.
Witnesses described a frenzied scene of
some people trying to climb through the ceiling, while others were
trampled in the frantic rush for an exit, their faces and bodies
flattened against the glass front door.
Some people fainted on the club floor;
others were coughing and crying, gagging and blindly groping for any
``People were being trapped underneath
you ... so we're actually standing on people's heads and we didn't
even know it,'' said Amishoov Blackwell, a 30-year-old patron. ``It
was just bodies laying everywhere.''
Blackwell said one man crushed between
two people told him, ```I can't breathe! I want you to hold my hand,
man. If I don't make it, tell my mom that I love her!' He just
Some witnesses reported that the lights
were cut in the stairwell.
On Monday afternoon, Joyce backed off
earlier statements that firefighters had used sledgehammers and pry
bars to open other doors in the half-block-long building. He said
one or two doors may have been blocked by laundry bags or other
items from the first-floor Epitome restaurant.
The crowd apparently surged down a single
front exit in the pandemonium.
Joyce also scaled down the number of
people in the club to about 500; earlier, the fire department had
estimated as many as 1,500 people were on the second
Police Commissioner Terry Hillard said
investigators were trying to sort out conflicting stories about the
source of the Mace or pepper spray and obtain videotape from inside
the club. Witnesses said the spray may have come from the club's
security guards trying to break up a fight between at least two
``Lives were tragically and senselessly
lost, pinned down by a stampeding crowd,'' Hillard said.
``We will get to the bottom of this,'' he
said. ``Right now our investigation is at full tilt.''
Friends and family of missing patrons
flocked to the morgue Monday afternoon, searching for information
and holding out hope that their loved ones were still
``I just can't understand it,'' said
Herschel Blake, who was looking for his 22-year-old grandson,
Michael. ``His mother called me and said, ``Your grandson is dead.
The door was locked. There was only one way out of the
Witnesses said some people were stomped
on; many victims suffered crushing chest and head injuries. By
Monday evening only seven of the injured remained hospitalized. Most
of the dead were in their 20s or early 30s. At least nine died from
multiple trauma and four from cardiac arrest, authorities
``Everybody smashed; people crying,
couldn't breathe,'' said club-goer Reggie Clark. ``Two ladies next
to me died. A guy under me passed out.''
Water and ice were passed to some of
those trapped as rescuers struggled to pull them from the
``You could see a mound of people,'' said
Cory Thomas, 33, who went to the club to pick up two friends.
``People were stacking on top of each other, screaming and gagging,
I guess from the pepper spray. The door got blocked because there
were too many people stacked up against it.''
``I saw them taking out a pregnant
woman,'' Thomas said. ``She was in bad shape. I saw at least 10
The president of a Chicago entertainment
agency that has booked acts at the club said access to the building
was unsafe for the number of people reported to be there early
``The doorway was obviously inadequate
for an emergency,'' said Ron Onesti of Onesti Entertainment Co.
``When the place is filled to capacity, the doorway is very
Photographs on Onesti's Web site depict
packed crowds at the nightclub. Onesti maintained that his agency
had nothing to do with managing the club and hadn't had any dealings
involving it in about a year.
The club is located in the Near South
Side, a commercial district near the McCormick Place convention
The stampede was one of the nation's
In December 1991, nine young people were
crushed to death in a gymnasium stairwell while awaiting a celebrity
basketball game in New York.
In December 1979, 11 people were killed
in Cincinnati in a crush to get into a concert by The
WASHINGTON (Dec. 16) - Former Vice
President Al Gore's surprise announcement that he would not
challenge President Bush in the 2004 presidential elections has
thrown the field wide open for Democratic presidential
Gore was expected to explain further his
decision at a news conference Monday afternoon, in Raleigh, N.C.,
the latest stop on his book tour.
''I think that a campaign that would be a
rematch between myself and President Bush would inevitably involve a
focus on the past that would, in some measure, distract from the
focus on the future,'' Gore said in an interview on the CBS news
program ''60 Minutes.''
The announcement ended months of
speculation over a possible political rematch between Gore and Bush,
who narrowly defeated the former Tennessee senator in the 2000
''The last campaign was an extremely
difficult one, and while I have the energy and the drive to go out
there and do it again, I think that there are a lot of people within
the Democratic Party who felt exhausted by that.'' Gore
The biggest beneficiary of Gore's
decision to step aside is his former 2002 vice presidential running
mate, Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. Lieberman began
exploring prospects for a possible 2004 White House bid shortly
after a divided Supreme Court effectively decided the 2000 race for
Bush by refusing to permit Gore a recount in Florida.
But Lieberman said if Gore ran again, he
would step aside because he figured he owed the former vice
president for making him in 2000 the first person of Jewish faith on
a major party presidential ticket. Lieberman had no immediate public
reaction to Gore's announcement.
DOOR OPEN FOR OTHER DEMOCRATS
While Gore's decision clears the way for
Lieberman, it will also likely open the door to other potential
candidates to jump into what will be a wide open contest.
''This helps any and all Democrats
considering running because Al clearly would have been the
front-runner. Polls showed that,'' said a former senior adviser in
the 2000 Gore-Lieberman campaign. ''Now it is wide
Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri, who
stepped down as House minority leader last month, has also raised
speculation he would focus on a run. And Gore's decision may also
nudge into the race Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, who has
long considered a bid.
''This will put more pressure on Daschle
and Gephardt,'' a former Gore adviser said. ''In recent months, it
has been Al taking the lead in responding to Bush's economy, war ...
Now people will be turning more to see what Daschle and Gephardt
have to say.''
Daschle and Gephardt, in separate
statements, saluted Gore as a trailblazer and dedicated public
''Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000
and I am convinced he would have been a great President,'' Gephardt
said. "Our nation would have benefited from his leadership over the
past two years and the Democratic primary process will lose a strong
voice and accomplished leader without his
Daschle said he respected Gore's decision
and ''look forward to his continued leadership and ideas for our
party and for America.''
Other possible Democratic presidential
contenders include Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, North Carolina
Sen. John Edwards and Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.
Dean told CNN Gore's decision would help
''It certainly does open up the party for
new ideas that actually make sense and I think, perhaps, take the
Democratic Party in a different direction than its been going,''
A former member of the House, a former
senator and the son of a senator, Gore was vice president for eight
years under former President Clinton and became one of his closest
Gore made a series of public appearances
in recent months that raised expectations he would run for president
in 2004. Last month, Gore saturated the media, promoting a book
written with his wife, Tipper, and Saturday was the unlikely host of
TV comedy show ''Saturday Night Live.''
Gore told ''60 Minutes'' head made the
decision not to seek the presidency fully aware that 2004 would
probably be the last opportunity he would ever have to run for
president, but said he was not retreating from public
''I intend to remain actively involved in
politics, '' Gore said. ''I want to help whoever the Democratic
Party's nominee is in 2004 to win the election.
WASHINGTON (Dec. 11) - In a new defense
strategy submitted to Congress on Wednesday, President Bush warned
Iraq and other hostile countries that the United States is prepared
to use "overwhelming force'' - including nuclear weapons - in
response to any chemical or biological attack.
The threat was contained in a White House
document called the ``National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass
Destruction.'' Presidential spokesman Scott McClellan said it was
prepared as a response to the ``unrelenting effort by hostile states
and terrorists to acquire and be able to use weapons of mass
The six-page strategy outline underscores
long-standing policy that the United States ``reserves the right to
respond with overwhelming force - including through resort to all of
our options - to the use of WMD (weapons of mass destruction)
against the United States, our forces abroad and friends and
That passage intends to threaten U.S.
nuclear retaliation as a deterrent to hostile governments, said
senior administration officials who briefed journalists about the
In rare agreement with the White House,
former Vice President Al Gore embraced his rival's strategy. ``As
presented, Al Gore feels this is in keeping with America's long-held
strategy of using our own weapons of mass destruction principally to
dissuade any aggressor from using their WMD arsenal against us,''
said spokesman Alejandro Cabrera.
Administration officials emphasized that
the strategy, developed jointly by national security adviser
Condoleezza Rice and homeland security adviser Tom Ridge, is an
overall statement of the Bush administration's overarching
principles. Its timing, however, coincides with other muscle-flexing
by President Bush designed to show Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
that the United States is serious about seeing him
Also on Tuesday, Bush used a private
White House meeting with Turkish political leader Recep Tayyip
Erdogan to press for permission for U.S. troops to use Turkish
bases, arguing that such a display of solidarity could persuade
Saddam to give up his weapons peacefully.
The White House document gathers into one
comprehensive whole several doctrines for prevention, deterrence and
defense that Bush has enunciated since taking office, including a
commitment to boost programs aimed at containing the damage of any
chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack.
The strategy said some unspecified states
that support terrorists already have weapons of mass destruction and
seek even more ``as tools of coercion and intimidation.''
``For them, these are not weapons of last
resort, but militarily useful weapons of choice intended to overcome
our nation's advantages in conventional forces and to deter us from
responding to aggression against our friends,'' the document
``We must accord the highest priority to
the protection of the United States, our forces and our friends and
allies'' from weapons of mass destruction, it continued.
The broadly worded strategy does not
speak with any specificity to the priorities it asserts, nor does it
assign them any budget numbers. Instead, those details were
contained in classified directives, described as ``substantial
taskings,'' issued to relevant federal departments a couple of
months ago, officials said.
The strategy's priorities will be
reflected in the new budget Bush submits to Congress in
12/11/02 12:49 EST
Sports Talk: Discuss Tyson's Attitude,
Happy Tyson Says He's More Mature, 'Tired of Being
Will Fight Etienne in Memphis on Feb. 22
By WOODY BAIRD
.c The Associated Press
TUNICA, Miss. (Nov. 26) -- Mike Tyson
said he's ready to get back in the ring, bringing with him a new joy
for life and an understanding of past mistakes.
"I feel good. I'm just very happy. I'm
tired of being stupid,'' Tyson said Tuesday at a news conference
announcing a Feb. 22 fight with Clifford Etienne in Memphis,
The fight will be at The Pyramid, where
Tyson suffered through his last fight on June 8, a sound beating at
the hands of heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.
Smiling and laughing after playfully
patting Etienne on the shoulder, Tyson said he has matured since the
"Things basically have come together as
far as my personal life,'' he said.
Tyson was unclear about what caused his
"I just feel so much good about my
transformation and just forming to be a decent human being,'' he
The undercard will have eight fights,
including the professional boxing debut of former Olympic skater
Tonya Harding. An opponent has not yet been lined up for Harding,
who has appeared on Fox TV's 'Celebrity Boxing.'
"It is my goal to be the future
undisputed bantamweight champion,'' Harding said. "My proven
athletic ability, as you all know, and competitive nature will help
this dream become reality.''
Tyson, who spent three years in prison
for raping a beauty pageant contestant, has a long history of
violence outside the ring and in it.
He fought Lewis in Memphis because he was
turned away from other venues, including Nevada, due to his rowdy
That included a fight between the Tyson
and Lewis camps at a news conference in New York to announce their
fight, originally scheduled for Las Vegas.
Nothing close to that occurred Tuesday at
the Grand Casino in Tunica County, about 30 miles south of
Tunica has the largest complex of casinos
between Atlantic City and Las Vegas.
Wearing a black suit with a modest brown
and black striped tie and matching pocket scarf, Tyson said his
rough past is behind him and he just wants to fight and make a
"We've all got to live. We've got to make
a living... I don't have to be a cold-blooded... mean individual on
the streets just to be a great fighter,'' he said.
Tyson said he was glad to return to
Memphis because he was well received by the city before, particular
in its poorer neighborhoods.
"That's where I come from... I went
downtown to the hood and everybody's got a gold tooth in their mouth
and look like me,'' he said, drawing a hearty laugh from the
Tyson, 35, was the youngest heavyweight
champion ever at the age of 20. He has relied throughout his career
on intimidation and his strength as a slugger.
Despite his new, gentler view of life,
Tyson said he has no plans to change his fighting style.
The Etienne fight will be the beginning
of Tyson's attempt at a comeback and a rematch with
Etienne (24-1-1) was knocked down twice
but managed a draw July 27 in his last fight against Francois
"Mike Tyson can still beat 99 percent of
the heavyweights out there,'' Etienne said. "I just feel like I'm in
that 1 percent that he can't beat and I'm going to show
The 10-round fight, to be televised on
Showtime, is being promoted by the Grand Casino and Prize Fight, a
co-promoter of the Lewis fight.
The Lewis-Tyson fight drew 15,327 to the
Pyramid and is generally considered the biggest sporting event in
The fight was one of the most lucrative
in boxing history, with ringside ticket prices of $2,400 and
pay-per-view sales trailing only the second fight between Tyson and
Tickets for the Tyson-Etienne fight will
start at $25. Top prices have not been announced.
11/26/02 19:03 EST
KADUNA, Nigeria (Nov. 22) - Christian
youths retaliated against Muslims in this northern city Friday in
the third day of riots triggered by a newspaper article about the
Miss World pageant. Red Cross officials said about 100 had died and
500 were seriously injured in the violence.
Beauty pageant spokeswoman Stella Din
said organizers were ''saddened'' by the deaths but would not cancel
the event, scheduled for Dec. 7 in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, some
225 miles southwest of Kaduna.
''The show definitely will go on,'' she
told reporters in Abuja.
Sporadic gunshots and shouting could be
heard in the northern city of Kaduna, which has seen the fiercest
fighting. Angry mobs have stabbed and set fire to bystanders and
rampaged through streets. At least four churches have been destroyed
The violence began Wednesday, when the
Kaduna office of ThisDay newspaper was torched after the paper
published an article questioning Muslim objections to the pageant.
The article, published Saturday, suggested the prophet Muhammad
would have chosen a wife among the contestants.
The newspaper ran a brief front-page
apology Monday and a longer retraction on Thursday.
On Friday, plumes of black smoke rose
above this tense, religiously mixed city of several million people
and authorities extended a round-the-clock curfew - although many
ignored the order.
Young Muslim men shouting ''Allahu
Akhbar,'' or ''God is great,'' ignited makeshift barricades of tires
and garbage. Others chanted, ''Down with beauty'' and ''Miss World
In neighborhoods dominated by minority
Christians, witnesses said youths smashed windows and set fires in
mosques used by the ethnic Hausa and Fulani Muslims who dominate
Fearful residents sought protection at
police stations and military bases.
''The soldiers have been very helpful,
giving us bandages and first aid. Everyone is here - Muslims,
Christians and pagan. We are all afraid of going home,'' said Habiba
Ibrahim, who spent the night in the city's defense academy near the
government clinic where she works. ''Only God knows when this will
The bodies of those slain in the streets
were taken by Red Cross workers and other volunteers to mortuaries.
It was not clear exactly how many were killed.
Nigerian Red Cross officials reported
about 100 dead by Friday morning, said George Bennet, head of the
International Federation of the Red Cross delegation. He stressed an
exact figure was impossible to confirm.
Other Red Cross officials said Friday
that more than 500 people had been injured.
Previous riots in Kaduna, a predominantly
Muslim city with a sizable Christian minority, have escalated into
religious battles that killed hundreds since civilian government
replaced military rule in 1999.
Islamist groups have warned for months
that they would protest the pageant, prompting organizers to
postpone the finale until after the Islamic holy month of
Muslim groups say the pageant promotes
promiscuity and indecency.
In the article that prompted the spasm of
violence in Kaduna, ThisDay writer Isioma Daniel said, ''What would
Muhammad think? In all honesty, he would probably have chosen a wife
from among them.''
Security forces patrolled other major
cities Friday, including the northern trading hub of Kano, where
Muslim women peacefully protested.
''We are calling on the government to
stop Miss World, this show of shame. For women to expose herself to
men other than their husbands is forbidden,'' said one of the
protesters, Hadiza Usman.
Miss World organizers insist contestants
have respected conservative Muslim values by dressing
The pageant also caused controversy
elsewhere; at least five contestants are boycotting it to protest
judgments in Nigeria's Islamic courts that condemned several women
to death by stoning for getting pregnant while unmarried.
Contestants from Costa Rica, Denmark,
Switzerland, South Africa and Panama stayed away.
Nigeria's government insists none of the
judgments will be carried out, although it has refused to intervene
directly with the Islamic court system.
WASHINGTON (Nov. 22) - U.S.
counterterrorism authorities hope their interrogation of the newly
captured chief of al-Qaida's Persian Gulf operations, Abd al-Rahim
al-Nashiri, will shed light on terror plots still in the works,
Al-Nashiri, a Saudi, was captured earlier
this month in an undisclosed foreign country and is now in U.S.
custody, U.S. officials said Thursday, speaking on the condition of
A close associate of Osama bin Laden,
al-Nashiri is a suspected mastermind of the USS Cole bombing in
October 2000. After his capture, he was held briefly in Afghanistan
before being flown to an undisclosed location, sources
Officials declined to comment on the
circumstances or location of his capture. He had last been reported
At the same time, the FBI on Thursday
warned that terrorists might try to attack shipping, possibly using
scuba divers to put explosives on vessels. The warning, contained in
the FBI's weekly bulletin to state and local law enforcement
officers nationwide, was not based on any information about specific
targets, a federal law enforcement official said.
Al-Nashiri is probably the
highest-ranking lieutenant of bin Laden seized since the March
capture of Abu Zubaydah, al-Qaida's chief coordinator of terrorist
cells worldwide. However, the capture of al-Nashiri did little to
quell fears of a resurgent al-Qaida that is plotting new terrorist
Since last week, U.S. officials had said
a senior al-Qaida leader had been caught, but they had declined to
identify him. On Sunday, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge said
the prisoner was providing information to his
The questioning of other senior figures,
such as Abu Zubaydah and Omar al-Farouq, bin Laden's Southeast Asia
operations chief, have provided a wealth of information - often of
unknown reliability - of planned terrorist operations. Their
statements have led to several public alerts in the past
In the Cole attack, U.S. officials have
said al-Nashiri gave telephone orders to the bombers from the United
Arab Emirates and may have provided money to the plotters. He went
to Afghanistan after the bombing, which killed 17
Born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, al-Nashiri
is believed to be in his mid-30s, officials said.
''He has a reputation as a ruthless
operator,'' one U.S. official said. ''He is a very committed
follower of Osama bin Laden.''
Al-Nashiri oversaw the purchase and
transport of explosives, the leasing of safe houses and the planning
and financing of attacks, officials said.
He has also traveled under a number of
other names, including Umar Mohammed al-Harazi and Abu Bilal
U.S. officials believe he was in Ghazni,
Afghanistan, around the time the U.S.-led war began there in October
2001. He is thought to have moved to Pakistan when the Taliban fell,
and he is believed to have gone to Yemen in recent months. Some
tribesmen in Yemen, however, said he was going to
In addition to the Cole attack in the
port of Aden, Yemen, al-Nashiri is suspected of helping direct the
August 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es
Salaam, Tanzania. He recruited his cousin, Azzam, to train in
Afghanistan and serve as one of the suicide bombers in the attack on
the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, officials said.
In addition, he is thought to be behind
the attempt to bomb another destroyer, the USS The Sullivans, nine
months before the Cole attack, at Aden. That attack failed when the
suicide boat, overloaded with explosives, sank.
He is also suspected of organizing a plot
to bomb the U.S. 5th Fleet Headquarters in Bahrain, a plot revealed
in January by another top al-Qaida operative, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi,
who was captured by Pakistan after fleeing Afghanistan.
The 5th Fleet has responsibility for the
Persian Gulf and provides ships for the operations of U.S. Central
Command, which is running the war efforts in Afghanistan and
U.S. intelligence also is investigating
whether he was behind the Oct. 6 suicide boat bombing of a French
oil tanker off the coast of Yemen, officials said. One crewman was
Al-Nashiri also is suspected of playing a
role in a failed al-Qaida plot to use suicide boats to bomb U.S. and
British warships crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, U.S. officials
said. In June, three Saudis were arrested in Morocco for involvement
in that alleged plot.
The capture of al-Nashiri is the latest
reported success in the worldwide effort being led by the CIA, FBI
and U.S. military to capture or kill top al-Qaida chiefs.
On Nov. 3, a CIA Predator drone fired a
missile at a car in Yemen that was carrying several suspected
al-Qaida operatives, killing Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, bin
Laden's top operative in that country. Al-Harethi is also suspected
of involvement in the Cole plot.
In September, U.S. and Pakistani
authorities captured Ramzi Binalshibh, an alleged planner of the
Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. He was an aide to Khalid
Shaikh Mohammed, the suspected Sept. 11 mastermind who remains at
In June, Indonesian authorities captured
al-Farouq, al-Qaida's operations chief for Southeast Asia, and
turned him over to U.S. custody.
Other al-Qaida leaders still at large
include bin Laden; his chief deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri; security
chief Saif al-Adil; and financier Shaikh Saiid al-Sharif.
Bin Laden's son Saad and Tawfiq Attash
Khallad, another alleged planner of the Cole attack, also remain on
WASHINGTON (Nov. 16) - The latest fears
of renewed terror attacks are based on disturbing patterns
reminiscent of the run-ups to earlier al-Qaida strikes rather than
on specific intelligence, counterterrorism officials
A familiar and potentially dangerous
confluence of events is taking place: Osama bin Laden speaks out.
U.S. intelligence detects increased ''chatter'' among potential
terrorists. The calendar suggests it might be time for al-Qaida to
According to officials, it is largely
this analytical concern that led to the FBI's new warning concerning
''spectacular'' attacks - a word used in counterterrorism circles to
differentiate the Sept. 11 strikes from, for example, car
The White House, increasingly sensitive
to Democrats' complaints that the Iraq issue is distracting the
administration from the hunt for terrorists, said Americans should
remain vigilant. But it left the national alert status
Fielding questions in the White House
briefing room, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice disputed
any suggestion that Saddam Hussein is overshadowing the hunt for bin
''Numerous senior leaders of al-Qaida ...
have either been eliminated, incarcerated or detained someplace,''
Rice said Friday.
Another senior al-Qaida operative has
been taken into U.S. custody, officials said, speaking on condition
of anonymity. They declined to identify him. A number of senior
operatives with ties to Sept. 11, the USS Cole bombing in October
2000, the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings and other attacks remain
Rice said the latest warnings contained
no new information, calling them a ''summary of intelligence as we
This differs from the last big scare,
around the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. On Sept. 9, a top
al-Qaida operative told interrogators of multiple planned strikes
against U.S. embassies in southeast Asia. Those attacks never
occurred, although officials have not described why or how they
might have been headed off.
Several factors are fueling current U.S
- Bin Laden's making a threatening public
statement. Although analysis continues, officials generally accept
the bin Laden audiotape aired this week as authentic. He made
similar statements before the East Africa embassy bombings and the
strike on the USS Cole. None immediately preceded the Sept. 11
attacks, although some believe those strikes were pushed up in
The statement may also serve to inspire
al-Qaida supporters to violence, officials said.
- The beginning of Ramadan. Al-Qaida has
plotted attacks during the Islamic holy month before.
- The elapsed time since al-Qaida's last
major strike, the Sept. 11 attacks. Al-Qaida generally pulls off one
major attack a year. There is some debate whether the recent bombing
of a night club in Indonesia, which killed close to 200 people, was
this year's big strike. Many analysts feel this was the work of an
ally of al-Qaida, rather than of bin Laden's organization
- Thursday's execution of Mir Aimal Kasi,
the Pakistani convicted of killing two CIA employees in 1993 outside
the agency's headquarters in Virginia. Some in Pakistan have
threatened reprisals. Several militants with links to al-Qaida were
also recently captured in Pakistan, officials said.
- An increase in terrorist chatter. It
ebbs and flows, often without an attack taking place, but any spikes
remain worrisome to counterterrorism officials.
The national alert level is staying at
yellow - the third-highest of five levels - because of a lack of
specifics about potential targets. Still, the latest FBI warning was
unusual because of its dire language.
''Sources suggest al-Qaida may favor
spectacular attacks that meet several criteria: high symbolic value,
mass casualties, severe damage to the U.S. economy and maximum
psychological trauma,'' says the alert, which was posted on the
FBI's Web site early Friday.
The highest priority targets remain
within the aviation, petroleum and nuclear sectors, as well as
significant national landmarks, the warning says.
''Al-Qaida's next attack may rely on
conventional explosives and low-technology platforms such as truck
bombs, commercial or private aircraft, small watercraft, or
explosives easily concealed and planted by terrorist operatives,''
FBI officials also asked law enforcement
worldwide to be on the lookout for Amer al-Matti in connection with
''possible terrorist threats in the United States.'' Law enforcement
officials said the man overstayed his visa in Canada and was
attending a flight training school. He is believed to have
connections to al-Qaida.
White House officials said Friday they
are increasingly concerned about Democrats' criticism that Bush's
focus on Iraq is distracting his attention from al-Qaida.
To counter the perception, the White
House trumpeted its accomplishments in news briefings Friday and
devoted Bush's radio address Saturday to the topic.
The White House touted a list of
victories the United States and its allies have had in the war on
terrorism, including the ousting of the terrorist-friendly Taliban
regime in Afghanistan and the disruption of alleged cells in
Buffalo, N.Y., and Germany.
TUCSON, Ariz. (Oct. 28) - A student
flunking out of the University of Arizona nursing school shot three
of his professors to death Monday, then killed himself as dozens of
terrified students rushed to get away.
Police said Robert Flores Jr., 41,
specifically targeted the instructors, killing one in her office on
the second floor and shooting the others in a fourth-floor classroom
as students dove for cover. Flores told students in the room to
leave and was later found dead by officers searching the
Students who were in the classroom said
Flores entered carrying a gun. He approached instructor Cheryl
McGaffic in the front of the room and told her ''he was going to
give her a lesson in spirituality,'' witness Laura Kelley
Flores shot McGaffic, 44, in the chest,
then shot her twice more as she lay on the ground. Among McGaffic's
areas of study was the relationship between health and
Flores then walked to the back of the
room and shot 45-year-old Barbara Monroe as she lay curled behind a
''He asked her if she was ready to meet
her maker,'' said Gena Johnson, another student. ''She said 'Yes,'
and then he shot her once and then twice more.''
University Vice Provost Elizabeth Irvin
said Flores had failed a pediatric nursing class and was struggling
in a critical care class.
Bomb squad members were called in after a
backpack or package was found underneath the gunman's body. The
suspect had threatened to blow up the building, though it was
unclear when the threat was made, police said. The college and
nearby buildings were evacuated.
Authorities continued to check for
explosives into the evening.
Police identified the third victim as
Robin E. Rogers, 50. All the victims were Flores' instructors,
Police Chief Richard Miranda said.
''It's too soon to say why he committed
this terrible deed,'' Miranda said. ''We have determined that there
are many issues in Mr. Flores' life, all of which are a
Flores, a Gulf War veteran, worked until
September at the Southern Arizona Veterans Administration Health
Care System as a licensed practical nurse, and was studying to
become a registered nurse, officials said. It wasn't clear in which
branch of the military he served.
Anu Nigam, a 29-year-old graduate
student, said she and her husband were outside waiting for a shuttle
bus when a woman came out of the building with a cell phone, trying
to dial and screaming that there was a man with a gun in the
building. Police were at the scene within seconds.
''A group of people were crying and
running desperately to get out of the building,'' Nigam said. ''They
were crying, tripping over one another, falling down.''
Student Lori Schenkel said she had
several classes with Flores and he told classmates about a year ago
that he had gotten a concealed weapon permit.
''He was just a very aggravated student,
a rude, obnoxious type of person,'' she said. ''He came across as
very aggressive and mean, and seemed to have a lot of issues with
Nurse William Gordon, who worked with
Flores at the VA hospital and knew him for three years, said he saw
nothing that would foreshadow violence. He said Flores dropped out
of a nursing ethics class last semester and seemed upset, but it
wasn't an unusual reaction.
''I didn't pick up anything majorly
confrontational with him regarding the instructor,'' Gordon said.
''Nothing that would alarm you.''
Students were grieving the loss of their
Rogers, who taught pediatrics, was a
''really great teacher,'' Ilda Rosano said. ''She always has her
door open. If you need to see her, you just walk right
McGaffic taught classes on health care
ethics, critical care and death and dying. She was also a volunteer
chaplain at University Medical Center, where she helped comfort
seriously ill patients and their families.
Jessica Odom, a 21-year-old student,
recalled the one-on-one interactions McGaffic had with students in
the death and dying course.
''We had a memorial for all our loved
ones that died, and she sat and cried with us all as we talked about
our loved ones,'' Odom said.
University President Peter Likins said
there were no immediate plans to change security procedures at the
34,000-student university, which includes the 380-student nursing
Flores lived in an apartment complex a
few miles from campus where many other students live. Complex
manager Joe Brink said Flores had been there for more than a year
and was ''a model tenant.''
Brink said Flores had two children who
visited during the summer. Classmates said Flores talked of an
ex-wife and two children.
WASHINGTON (Dec. 16) - Former Vice President Al Gore's surprise
announcement that he would not challenge President Bush in the 2004
presidential elections has thrown the field wide open for Democratic
Gore was expected to explain further his decision at a news
conference Monday afternoon, in Raleigh, N.C., the latest stop on
his book tour.
''I think that a campaign that would be a rematch between myself
and President Bush would inevitably involve a focus on the past that
would, in some measure, distract from the focus on the future,''
Gore said in an interview on the CBS news program ''60
The announcement ended months of speculation over a possible
political rematch between Gore and Bush, who narrowly defeated the
former Tennessee senator in the 2000 presidential election.
''The last campaign was an extremely difficult one, and while I
have the energy and the drive to go out there and do it again, I
think that there are a lot of people within the Democratic Party who
felt exhausted by that.'' Gore said.
The biggest beneficiary of Gore's decision to step aside is his
former 2002 vice presidential running mate, Sen. Joseph Lieberman of
Connecticut. Lieberman began exploring prospects for a possible 2004
White House bid shortly after a divided Supreme Court effectively
decided the 2000 race for Bush by refusing to permit Gore a recount
But Lieberman said if Gore ran again, he would step aside because
he figured he owed the former vice president for making him in 2000
the first person of Jewish faith on a major party presidential
ticket. Lieberman had no immediate public reaction to Gore's
DOOR OPEN FOR OTHER DEMOCRATS
While Gore's decision clears the way for Lieberman, it will also
likely open the door to other potential candidates to jump into what
will be a wide open contest.
''This helps any and all Democrats considering running because Al
clearly would have been the front-runner. Polls showed that,'' said
a former senior adviser in the 2000 Gore-Lieberman campaign. ''Now
it is wide open.''
Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri, who stepped down as House
minority leader last month, has also raised speculation he would
focus on a run. And Gore's decision may also nudge into the race
Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, who has long considered a
''This will put more pressure on Daschle and Gephardt,'' a former
Gore adviser said. ''In recent months, it has been Al taking the
lead in responding to Bush's economy, war ... Now people will be
turning more to see what Daschle and Gephardt have to say.''
Daschle and Gephardt, in separate statements, saluted Gore as a
trailblazer and dedicated public servant.
''Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000 and I am convinced he
would have been a great President,'' Gephardt said. "Our nation
would have benefited from his leadership over the past two years and
the Democratic primary process will lose a strong voice and
accomplished leader without his participation.''
Daschle said he respected Gore's decision and ''look forward to
his continued leadership and ideas for our party and for
Other possible Democratic presidential contenders include
Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and
Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.
Dean told CNN Gore's decision would help the party.
''It certainly does open up the party for new ideas that actually
make sense and I think, perhaps, take the Democratic Party in a
different direction than its been going,'' Dean said.
A former member of the House, a former senator and the son of a
senator, Gore was vice president for eight years under former
President Clinton and became one of his closest confidants.
Gore made a series of public appearances in recent months that
raised expectations he would run for president in 2004. Last month,
Gore saturated the media, promoting a book written with his wife,
Tipper, and Saturday was the unlikely host of TV comedy show
''Saturday Night Live.''
Gore told ''60 Minutes'' head made the decision not to seek the
presidency fully aware that 2004 would probably be the last
opportunity he would ever have to run for president, but said he was
not retreating from public life.
''I intend to remain actively involved in politics, '' Gore said.
''I want to help whoever the Democratic Party's nominee is in 2004
to win the election.
TUCSON, Ariz. (Oct. 28) - A student flunking out of the
University of Arizona nursing school shot three of his professors to
death Monday, then killed himself as dozens of terrified students
rushed to get away.
Police said Robert Flores Jr., 41, specifically targeted the
instructors, killing one in her office on the second floor and
shooting the others in a fourth-floor classroom as students dove for
cover. Flores told students in the room to leave and was later found
dead by officers searching the school.
Students who were in the classroom said Flores entered carrying a
gun. He approached instructor Cheryl McGaffic in the front of the
room and told her ''he was going to give her a lesson in
spirituality,'' witness Laura Kelley said.
Flores shot McGaffic, 44, in the chest, then shot her twice more
as she lay on the ground. Among McGaffic's areas of study was the
relationship between health and spirituality.
Flores then walked to the back of the room and shot 45-year-old
Barbara Monroe as she lay curled behind a desk.
''He asked her if she was ready to meet her maker,'' said Gena
Johnson, another student. ''She said 'Yes,' and then he shot her
once and then twice more.''
University Vice Provost Elizabeth Irvin said Flores had failed a
pediatric nursing class and was struggling in a critical care
Bomb squad members were called in after a backpack or package was
found underneath the gunman's body. The suspect had threatened to
blow up the building, though it was unclear when the threat was
made, police said. The college and nearby buildings were
Authorities continued to check for explosives into the
Police identified the third victim as Robin E. Rogers, 50. All
the victims were Flores' instructors, Police Chief Richard Miranda
''It's too soon to say why he committed this terrible deed,''
Miranda said. ''We have determined that there are many issues in Mr.
Flores' life, all of which are a factor.''
Flores, a Gulf War veteran, worked until September at the
Southern Arizona Veterans Administration Health Care System as a
licensed practical nurse, and was studying to become a registered
nurse, officials said. It wasn't clear in which branch of the
military he served.
Anu Nigam, a 29-year-old graduate student, said she and her
husband were outside waiting for a shuttle bus when a woman came out
of the building with a cell phone, trying to dial and screaming that
there was a man with a gun in the building. Police were at the scene
''A group of people were crying and running desperately to get
out of the building,'' Nigam said. ''They were crying, tripping over
one another, falling down.''
Student Lori Schenkel said she had several classes with Flores
and he told classmates about a year ago that he had gotten a
concealed weapon permit.
''He was just a very aggravated student, a rude, obnoxious type
of person,'' she said. ''He came across as very aggressive and mean,
and seemed to have a lot of issues with being angry.''
Nurse William Gordon, who worked with Flores at the VA hospital
and knew him for three years, said he saw nothing that would
foreshadow violence. He said Flores dropped out of a nursing ethics
class last semester and seemed upset, but it wasn't an unusual
''I didn't pick up anything majorly confrontational with him
regarding the instructor,'' Gordon said. ''Nothing that would alarm
Students were grieving the loss of their professors.
Rogers, who taught pediatrics, was a ''really great teacher,''
Ilda Rosano said. ''She always has her door open. If you need to see
her, you just walk right in.''
McGaffic taught classes on health care ethics, critical care and
death and dying. She was also a volunteer chaplain at University
Medical Center, where she helped comfort seriously ill patients and
Jessica Odom, a 21-year-old student, recalled the one-on-one
interactions McGaffic had with students in the death and dying
''We had a memorial for all our loved ones that died, and she sat
and cried with us all as we talked about our loved ones,'' Odom
University President Peter Likins said there were no immediate
plans to change security procedures at the 34,000-student
university, which includes the 380-student nursing school.
Flores lived in an apartment complex a few miles from campus
where many other students live. Complex manager Joe Brink said
Flores had been there for more than a year and was ''a model
Brink said Flores had two children who visited during the summer.
Classmates said Flores talked of an ex-wife and two children.
REDERICK, Md. (Oct. 25) - When Ron Lantz pulled his truck into a
Maryland rest stop off I-70 early Thursday, something just
The truck driver spotted a blue Chevrolet Caprice with New Jersey
tags in the parking lot off the Maryland interstate highway, and
recalled the police news conference he had just heard on the radio
in the case of the Washington area sniper who had killed 10 and
seriously wounded three since Oct. 2.
"I pulled in. I'd heard those bozos talking about the description
of the car, the make of the car, the model of the car, the license
plate number," Lantz told CNN. "I pulled in with another driver
behind me. I told the other driver that car looked kind of
Lantz confirmed the car's description with a radio station and
then called police on 911.
They instructed Lantz to wait for state troopers to arrive but to
block the Chevy in with their vehicles.
The unassuming truck driver from Ludlow, Kentucky, waited 15
nerve-racking minutes until the authorities arrived.
"I just sat there and waited ... It was a long 15 minutes," Lantz
At one point, he said he started to walk to the restrooms, but
then returned to his truck when he saw there were two people inside
the car. He said he felt safer inside his cab.
But Lantz refused to call himself a hero in a case that has vexed
and terrified the region for three weeks.
"I'm no hero. I don't even want to be classified as a hero. Just
let it go like it is. I did my job," he said.
Just five runs from retirement, Lantz seemed unimpressed by the
possibility of a financial windfall for his police work.
"I know there's a sizable reward. ... If I had the money, I'd
probably take it and give it to the people who were shot," he
10/24/02 19:33 ET
UNITED NATIONS (Nov. 13) - Iraq said on
Wednesday it accepted a new U.N. Security Council resolution, which
orders Baghdad to disarm, cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors or
face ''serious consequences.''
''I delivered a letter to the
secretary-general's office,'' Iraq's U.N. ambassador Mohammed
Aldouri told reporters. ''It was a positive reply.''
Aldouri described the six-page letter as
setting out Baghdad's entire position on the resolution, adopted by
a 15-0 vote last Friday. But he said the response was
''unconditional, no questions asked.''
''We are waiting for the inspectors to go
as scheduled,'' Aldouri said. ''We are eager to see the inspectors
perform their duties in accordance with international
Aldouri said Baghdad has accepted the
resolution in an effort to avoid war.
''This is a part of our policy that is to
protect our country, to protect the nation, to protect our region
also from the threat of war which is real,'' he said.
The letter was signed by Foreign Minister
The Security Council had given Iraq a
one-week deadline to Nov. 15, to accept the resolution and promise
to abide by its terms. Aldouri said his country agreed to the
measure in order to avoid a U.S.-led attack.
Iraq's acceptance came as a surprise as
most council members expected Baghdad to wait until Friday. The
letter arrived a day after the Iraqi parliament voted unanimously to
reject the resolution and its terms.
Aldouri said again his country had no
weapons of mass destruction and would make that clear. Iraq next
month has to give a declaration of any weapons programs or
components of dangerous weapons it still may have under terms of the
An advance party of U.N. technicians is
expected to go to Baghdad on Monday to prepare for inspections, not
expected for another week or two.
China's deputy U.N. ambassador, Yishan
Zhang, who holds this month's Security Council presidency, said the
15-member body welcomed ''the correct decision of the Iraqi
''We want to see the resolution
implemented fully and very effectively,'' he said.
A U.S. official, however, said, ''We
shouldn't make more of this than there is. This is their
responsibility under the council mandate.''
PENSACOLA, Fla. (Nov. 14) - Two boys
accused of bludgeoning their father to death with a baseball bat
pleaded guilty to reduced charges and got up to eight years in
prison Thursday after a judge threw out their convictions and spared
them a much harsher sentence.
In strong, clear voices, Derek King, 14,
and his brother, Alex, 13, admitted to third-degree murder as well
as arson, for burning down the house around their father's body last
Derek was sentenced to eight years in
prison, Alex seven - well below the 12 1/2-year minimum specified
under state guidelines.
Circuit Judge Frank Bell read new sworn
statements from both boys, similar to confessions they gave police
but later recanted.
''Alex suggested that I kill dad,'' Derek
said in his statement. ''I murdered my dad with an aluminum baseball
bat. I set the house on fire from my dad's bedroom.''
Alex wrote that he talked with his
brother about killing their father, Terry King, 40, so they could
live with the family friend, Rick Chavis, a convicted child
molester. ''Rik told me he loved me,'' Alex wrote. ''Rik told me I
was gay and only he understood me.''
In his statement, Derek said Chavis had
encouraged the boys to run away from home, which they did 10 days
before the murder. They went to Chavis' home in Pensacola where he
let them skip school, smoke marijuana and hid them when their father
The case drew widespread attention in
part because prosecutors presented evidence at one trial that Chavis
was the killer and told another jury the boys did it.
A month ago, Bell tossed out the boys'
second-degree murder convictions, saying the brothers' rights were
violated by the ''unusual and bizarre'' way prosecutors
simultaneously presented two contradictory theories of the crime. He
ordered both sides to try to resolve the case in
The brothers were facing prison terms of
20 years to life before the convictions were thrown out.
The boys' mother, Kelly Marino - who has
not lived with them for several years - made a last-ditch effort to
have them examined by mental health experts before they pleaded
guilty, but the judge said the request had no standing.
The boys told the judge they understood
what they were doing.
Outside court, Marino denounced the plea
bargain and said her sons had no idea what they were admitting to.
She was accompanied by lawyers hired by comedian Rosie O'Donnell to
help with the case. They did not participate in the
''This is not right. This is America.
Unbelievable,'' Marino said, shaking her head in disbelief. ''We do
plan to challenge this.''
Assistant State Attorney David Rimmer
dismissed Marino's complaint that she was not allowed to participate
in the mediation.
''They wouldn't be going to the state pen
if she would have paid more attention to them in their play pens,''
Marino never married Terry King and the
boys were left with their dad when they were young.
They spent about a year in a group home
for troubled children. Derek then was placed with a foster family
for about six years, and reunited with his father and brother only a
couple months before the murder.
King was beaten with an aluminum bat as
he slept in a recliner at his home in Cantonment. The house was then
set on fire to cover the crime.
The boys, who were 12 and 13 at the time,
gave detailed confessions to police: Derek said he swung the bat and
Alex said he had urged his brother to kill their father because they
were afraid of being punished for running away from home.
The boys later recanted and pinned the
slaying on Ricky Chavis.
Chavis was acquitted of first-degree
murder but remains jailed on other charges of accessory after the
fact to murder, evidence tampering and sexually molesting
Jurors in the boys' trial said they
believed Chavis wielded the bat. But they said they convicted the
boys because they let Chavis into the house.
The case was the latest murder trial
involving a child in Florida, which leads the nation in the
prosecution of juveniles as adults.
Nathaniel Brazill was 13 when he shot his
teacher to death two years ago. He was convicted of second-degree
murder and sentenced to 28 years in prison.
Also that year, 15-year-old John Silva
kidnapped and strangled a 12-year-old neighbor. He is serving life
without parole. Lionel Tate, 12, was sentenced to life without
parole for fatally body-slamming a 6-year-old neighbor in
The mediator in the King case, Bill
Eddins, said the brothers will serve their sentences with boys of
the same age and will attend classes.
Eddins said a physician and a
psychologist will be available for counseling at all times. Derek
has been diagnosed with hyperactivity.
WASHINGTON (Nov. 13) - U.S.
counterterrorism officials believe a new audiotape attributed to
Osama bin Laden is probably authentic and are treating it as new
evidence the long-absent terrorist leader is still alive, a U.S.
official familiar with the tape said Wednesday.
''It's probably his voice,'' said the
official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. ''It cannot be
said with absolute certainty.''
At the White House, President Bush told
congressional leaders Wednesday the new audiotaped statement was
''timely,'' suggesting that bin Laden is alive, House Speaker Dennis
Hastert told reporters.
Bush told the Democratic and Republican
leaders of the House and Senate that the initial analysis was not
definitive, Hastert said. A senior White House official said Bush
had been told by advisers that the voice sounded like bin Laden, but
that studies were still under way Wednesday to determine its
''If they are authentic, certainly he has
to be alive. But they're checking whether it's authentic or not,''
the Illinois Republican said.
A senior defense official said Wednesday
analysts informed the Pentagon that a study of the tape indicates it
is bin Laden's voice.
Technical analysis thus far by the CIA
and National Security Agency shows bin Laden likely recording the
tape, but officials said the full analysis to match bin Laden's
voice to previous recordings of him continues.
''Assuming it is in fact authentic, it is
an effort to boost morale among the rank and file,'' the official
said. ''It is an effort to show members of al-Qaida that top
leadership is still around. It could also signal future
In the audiotape, aired Tuesday on
Al-Jazeera, an Arabic television network, the speaker refers to
recent terrorist strikes U.S. officials believe are connected to bin
Laden's al-Qaida network. If verified, it would provide the first
evidence in a year that bin Laden survived U.S. bombing in
''I think there's a message here,'' Sen.
Richard Shelby said on CBS' ''The Early Show.'' The Alabama
Republican said, ''The message is, we better be looking closely now
for more terrorist attacks.''
The audiotape was played alongside an old
photograph of the al-Qaida leader, but there was no new video of
him. Al-Jazeera said it received the tape on the day it was
Officials believe bin Laden would release
an audio recording, instead of a video, because they are easier to
make and limit his public exposure, the U.S. official said. An audio
tape also hides an appearance of illness, and anything bin Laden
might have done to disguise himself in the last year.
Military officials, who have led the
yearlong hunt for the al-Qaida chief in Afghanistan and elsewhere,
said they view the tape as the first independent proof in nearly a
year that bin Laden is alive.
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
has said repeatedly over recent months that there was no conclusive
proof that bin Laden was dead, as well as no conclusive proof he was
''This indicates he is alive,'' one
official said Wednesday.
The speaker on the tape also threatened
new terrorism against the United States and its allies, and he
castigated U.S. policy toward Iraq.
Confirmation that bin Laden is alive
could pose problems for Bush, underscoring to an anxious public that
the war on terrorism is far from over.
The tape is addressed to ''peoples of the
countries allied with the tyrannical U.S. government'' and
specifically mentions Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Germany,
Australia and Israel, according to a U.S. government translation
provided to The Associated Press.
''What business do your governments have
to ally themselves with the gang of criminality in the White House
against Muslims? Don't your governments know that the White House
gang is the biggest serial killers in this age?'' the speaker
Recent statements from al-Qaida leaders
have led U.S. and European leaders to warn of possible new attacks,
particularly against railroads and oil and gas interests. A law
enforcement official said Tuesday that ''chatter'' among suspected
terrorists has reached the level seen before the Sept. 11
The tape seems to have been made in the
past two weeks. The speaker appears to refer to the killing of a
U.S. diplomat in Amman, Jordan, on Oct. 28, the most recent event
noted in the transcript. Whether bin Laden or al-Qaida had a direct
hand in the attack is unknown, U.S. officials said.
The speaker also praises six terrorist
attacks by suspected Islamic militants between April and October,
including the bombing of a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, on Oct. 12,
that killed nearly 200 people, and the Chechen takeover of a theater
in Moscow in late October.
The voice also gets personal, attacking
not only Bush, but calling Rumsfeld ''the butcher of Vietnam'' and
comparing Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Colin
Powell to marauding Mongols.
The last hard evidence bin Laden was
alive surfaced late last year. A videotape recovered by U.S. forces
in Afghanistan showed him having dinner with some of his deputies on
Nov. 9, 2001.
Late in December, another tape of bin
Laden giving a statement aired. He appeared gaunt and possibly
wounded. The references in the tape suggested it was filmed in late
November or early December, but officials could not be
NEW YORK (Oct. 31) - Jam Master Jay, a
founding member of the pioneering rap trio Run DMC, was shot and
killed at his recording studio near the New York neighborhood where
he grew up, police said.
Two men were buzzed into the second-floor
studio shortly before shots were fired inside its lounge at 7:30
p.m. on Wednesday, police said. As of early Thursday, police had
made no arrests.
The 37-year-old disc jockey, whose real
name was Jason Mizell, was shot once in the head in the studio's
lounge and died at the scene, said Detective Robert Price, a police
Urieco Rincon, 25, who was not a member
of Run DMC, was shot in the leg, police said. About five other
people in the studio at the time were not hurt.
``Rest In Peace Jam Master,'' Run DMC's
official Web site read early Thursday, underneath a picture of
Mizell served as the platinum-selling
group's disc jockey, providing background for singers Joseph
Simmons, better known as Run, and Darryl McDaniels, better known as
The group is widely credited with helping
bring hip-hop into music's mainstream, including the group's smash
collaboration with Aerosmith on the 1980s standard ``Walk This Way''
and hits like ``My Adidas'' and ``It's Tricky.''
``We always knew rap was for everyone,''
Mizell said in a 2001 interview with MTV. ``Anyone could rap over
all kinds of music.''
Mizell is the latest in a line of hip-hop
artists to fall victim to violence. Rappers Notorious B.I.G. and
Tupac Shakur were murdered within seven months of each other in 1996
and 1997 - crimes that some believe were the result of an East
Coast-West Coast rap war.
But Run DMC and their songs were never
about violence. The group promoted education and unity.
In 1986, the trio said they were outraged
by the rise of fatal gang violence in the Los Angeles area. They
called for a day of peace between warring street gangs.
``This is the first town where you feel
the gangs from the minute you step into town to the time you
leave,'' Mizell said at the time.
Mizell's friends and fans gathered near
the studio, located above a restaurant and a check-cashing business.
The crowd included many people from the Hollis section of Queens,
where the members of Run DMC grew up.
``They're the best. They're the pioneers
in hip hop,'' said Arlene Clark, 39, who grew up in the same
neighborhood. ``They took it to the highest level it could
Chuck D, the founder of the hip-hop group
Public Enemy, blamed record companies and the advertising for
perpetuating ``a climate of violence'' in the rap industry. ``When
it comes to us, we're disposable commodities,'' he said.
Doctor Dre, a New York radio station DJ
who had been friends with Mizell since the mid-1980s, said, ``This
is not a person who went out looking for trouble. ... He's known as
a person that builds, that creates and is trying to make the right
Leslie Bell, 33, said the band members
often let local musicians record for free at the studio, and had
remained in Queens to give back to the community.
``He is one great man,'' said Bell. ``As
they say, the good always die young.''
Publicist Tracy Miller said Mizell and
McDaniels had planned to perform in Washington, D.C., on Thursday at
a Washington Wizards basketball game. Mizell had performed on
Tuesday in Alabama, she said.
Mizell was married and had three
children, she said.
Run DMC released a greatest-hits album
earlier this year. In 2001, the rappers produced ``Crown Royal,''
breaking an eight-year silence.
10/31/02 08:10 EST
MOSCOW (Oct. 28) - A mysterious knockout
gas killed 116 hostages after Russian special forces stormed a
Moscow theater to free them from Chechen rebels, casting a shadow on
what was first seen as a triumphant rescue operation. More than 150
more hostages were in critical condition Sunday, the chief Moscow
city doctor said.
The physician in charge of the city's
poison unit said troops did not tell medical authorities they had
gassed the auditorium until the 750 hostages were brought out, most
of them unconscious.
''But we didn't know the character of the
gas,'' said Yevgeny Luzhnikov, head of the city health service
Department of Severe Poisoning. The substance was described as akin
to compounds used in surgical anesthesia.
The gas affected hearts and lungs, said
Andrei Seltsovsky, the chief city physician. He said he had no
information when asked about reports that the compound could cause
vomiting that would choke unconscious victims.
''In standard situations, the compound
... does not act as aggressively as it turned out to do,''
Seltsovsky said. ''But it was used on people who were in a specific
(extreme) situation for more than 50 hours. ... All of this
naturally made the situation more difficult.''
The White House declined to criticize the
rescue operation, making clear the Bush administration's view that
blame for the deaths lay with the captors.
''The Russian government and the Russian
people are victims of this tragedy, and the tragedy was caused as a
result of the terrorists who took hostages and booby-trapped the
building and created dire circumstances,'' spokesman Ari Fleischer
The approximately 800 hostages were taken
Wednesday night when an estimated 50 Chechen rebels stormed the
theater during a popular musical. They demanded that Russia end its
war in Chechnya.
The few dozen hostages who were well
enough to be released Sunday could provide few clues as to the
nature of the gas.
''We knew something serious was going to
happen'' when the gas started seeping into the hot auditorium that
reeked of excrement, Mark Podlesny said as he walked out of Veterans
Hospital No. 1 near the theater.
''I lost consciousness. Yes, there was a
strange smell,'' said Roma Shmakov, a 12-year-old actor in
''Nord-Ost,'' the musical in progress when the gunmen burst
Outside hospitals where the hostages were
taken for treatment, friends and family crowded the gates in futile
efforts to learn if loved ones were inside. Authorities gave out
little information on identities, conditions or where victims had
Even diplomats had trouble finding
information about the estimated 70 foreign citizens who were among
the captives. U.S. consular officials searched the city's hospitals
for one of the two Americans known to have been in the theater. A
second American was found recuperating in a city clinic. At least
two other foreigners - one Dutch and one Austrian - died.
Only on Sunday afternoon, more than 24
hours after the hostages were freed, did hospitals post lists of
patients. Visitors were still prohibited. Some people outside the
gates saw their relatives waving from windows.
''They are hostages again,'' one visitor
shouted to the armed guards at Hospital 13, where about half the
captives were taken.
Most who left the hospitals hugged those
meeting them, then hurried to get out of the chilling rain and avoid
reporters and TV cameras.
Those who stopped to talk gave accounts
that sometimes contradicted the official version.
Podlesny questioned Russian television
footage that showed the captors' corpses in the theater amid liquor
bottles and syringes. ''They didn't drink, didn't smoke, didn't
swear. They were very disciplined,'' he said.
Podlesny and Georgy Vasilyev, producer of
Nord-Ost, disputed Russian officials' statement that the guerrillas
had begun shooting hostages before dawn and prompting the special
A total of 118 hostages where known to
have died after the Chechens stormed the theater - 11 from the
effects of the gas, one young woman shot early in the standoff and
one hostage shot Saturday morning shortly before the
President Vladimir Putin visited the
special forces troops Sunday to congratulate them on the mission and
declared Monday a national day of mourning. As troops that had
surrounded the theater building began to withdraw, Muscovites placed
flowers at the perimeter.
Many of the 50 assailants killed in the
rescue mission died after being shot in the head, apparently while
unconscious from the gas. The Federal Security Service said three
other gunmen were captured, and authorities searched the city for
accomplices or gunmen who may have escaped.
The chief Moscow prosecutor, Mikhail
Avdyukov, said Sunday three people had been arrested in Moscow on
suspicion of helping to carry out the raid, the Interfax news agency
The attackers included 18 women,
many of whom said they were war widows. The women strapped
explosives to their bodies, and mines were placed throughout the
building. The attackers threatened to blow it up unless Putin agreed
to withdraw troops from mainly Muslim Chechnya.
Russian forces pulled out of Chechnya
after a devastating 1994-1996 war that left separatists in charge.
In fall 1999, Putin sent troops back in after Chechen-based rebels
attacked a neighboring region and after apartment-building bombings
blamed on the militants killed about 300 people.
ASHLAND, Va. (Oct. 20) - Authorities
believe the Washington-area sniper left a message with a telephone
number at the scene of the latest shooting in Virginia, The
Associated Press learned Sunday. Police appealed to the person who
left the message to contact them.
''To the person who left us a message at
the Ponderosa last night. You gave us a telephone number. We do want
to talk to you. Call us at the number you provided. Thank you,''
Montgomery County, Md., Police Chief Charles Moose said in a
Moose made his cryptic statement as
sniper task force investigators said they were working on the
assumption that the sniper has expanded his geographic reach after
shooting 11 people, nine fatally, in the Washington area since Oct.
Surgeons succeeded Sunday night in
removing the bullet from the 37-year-old man shot at the Ponderosa
in Ashland, Va., on Saturday night, and turned it over to
investigators for testing. Hospital spokeswoman Pam Lepley did not
know the bullet's condition.
The victim remained in critical condition
after three hours of surgery. Lepley said doctors were cautiously
optimistic but expect the man will need more surgery.
Public schools in the Ashland and
Richmond area will be closed Monday, affecting more than 200,000
students, ''based on the volume of parent and community concern,''
school officials announced late Sunday. After the earlier sniper
slayings, schools restricted activities but did not
Moose refused to elaborate or take
questions about the message left at the steakhouse or how it was
left. But he asked the news media to ''carry it clearly and carry it
After the briefing, Officer Joyce Utter,
spokeswoman for Montgomery County police, said Moose's statement
''should make complete sense'' to the person who left the
''That is the only person Chief Moose
wants to talk to,'' she said.
A law enforcement source close to the
investigation said the person who left the message is probably the
sniper who is responsible for the Washington area
Investigators who combed the area outside
the Ponderosa finished their search Sunday but said little about
what, if anything, they had found.
Some witnesses said they heard a shot
coming from a wooded area near the restaurant, but nobody reported
seeing the shooter.
If the shooting is linked to the sniper
attacks, it would be the first weekend attack and the farthest the
sniper has traveled - about 85 miles south of Washington.
The longest previous distance from the
Washington area was Spotsylvania County, about 50 miles south of
Washington. It would also break the longest lull between shootings,
about five days.
Former FBI profiler Clinton Van Zandt
said Saturday's shooting, if related, could show the killer's
approach is changing in response to law enforcement tactics. For
instance, reports last week that military surveillance planes would
be used in the Washington suburbs probably prompted the sniper to
move farther away, he said.
And since much had been made about the
weekend lulls, ''I think he reacted to that,'' Van Zandt
The most recent confirmed sniper attack
was the Monday night slaying of FBI analyst Linda Franklin outside a
Home Depot store in Falls Church.
Residents were on edge in Ashland, a town
of about 6,500. At the Virginia Center Commons mall, about seven
miles from the shooting, a normally busy food court sat half-empty
Sunday. Shopper Nancy Elrod said she almost had been too afraid to
''We certainly felt sorry about all the
people up north who were nervous and now it's down here and we're
nervous too,'' said Elrod, 45.
Police said the victim of Saturday's
shooting, whose name was not released, and his wife were traveling
and stopped in Ashland for gas and food. His wife told authorities
the shot sounded like a car backfiring and said her husband took
about three steps before collapsing.
The victim underwent surgery for three
hours Saturday night at MCV Hospitals in Richmond, Lepley
Doctors had to remove part of the man's
stomach, half of his pancreas and his spleen, said Dr. Rao Ivatury,
the hospital's director of trauma and critical care. The man was
conscious but unable to talk because he was on a
''The prognosis is still guarded, but
since he is a very healthy man and he is very young, the chances are
fair to good, I would say,'' Ivatury said.
Authorities in Maryland, meanwhile,
continued testing a shell casing found in a white rental truck to
determine if it could be linked to the sniper attacks. Police said
it would be at least Monday before they could announce whether the
casing is connected to the shootings.
A source close to the investigation,
however, said Sunday that ''it has nothing to do with this case.''
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, would not confirm
reports that the shell was .30-caliber, a different size from the
sniper's bullets, but said: ''It's got caliber problems, it's got
The shell casing was found in a car
seized at a rental agency near Dulles International Airport in
Virginia, authorities said.
FAIRFAX, Va. (Oct. 15) - An FBI analyst
who studied terror threats is the latest victim of the
Washington-area sniper, and investigators said Tuesday they were
confident that detailed witness accounts from the scene will lead
them to the person who has now killed nine people.
A senior law enforcement source, speaking
on condition of anonymity, said there were no indications the sniper
targeted Linda Franklin because of her job. Sources said she worked
for the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center which
assesses threats against major structures and cyber
Franklin, 47, of Arlington was shot in
the head Monday night as she and her husband loaded packages into
their car outside a Home Depot at the Seven Corners Shopping
Fairfax County Police Chief Tom Manger
suggested that witnesses gave investigators more details than on any
of the other shootings. For the first time, witnesses were able to
give information about license plates on vehicles seen leaving the
scene, he said.
''There was some additional information
that we were able to get from last night's case, and I am confident
that that information is going to lead us to an arrest in the
case,'' Manger said at a morning briefing.
Manger declined to discuss which state
the license plates were from or answer questions about whether
police had a description of the shooter. He said only that several
people contacted police after the shooting and investigators were
still interviewing them.
''We have been receiving quite a bit of
information from witnesses,'' Manger said. ''Information is always
the key in solving cases like this.''
Police closed highways around Falls
Church, about 10 miles west of the nation's capital, after the
shooting and Manger said police were on the lookout for a
light-colored Chevrolet Astro van with a burned-out left rear tail
light and a chrome ladder rack on its roof.
The highways were reopened in time for
morning rush hour and no arrests were reported.
''There are a fair number of ways to
leave the area,'' Manger said. ''We made a number of traffic stops.
I am unaware of any pursuits.''
Authorities released composite pictures
of an Astro van and of a similar Ford van called the Econoline,
saying those pictures were based on witness statements from last
Friday's shooting in Fredericksburg.
A senior defense official said Tuesday
that Pentagon officials were in discussion with Justice Department
officials on ways in which the military could assist in the
investigation. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity,
declined to give details.
It was unclear whether the help might be
limited to an exchange of information or could include the use of
equipment, aircraft or troops. By law the military is prohibited
from engaging in law enforcement.
Outside the Home Depot on Tuesday, a line
of officers on their hands and knees scoured the covered parking
deck for evidence, and a tow truck hauled away the victim's car - a
small red convertible with a black cloth top.
Franklin was felled by a single shot to
the head about 9:15 p.m. as she stood in the parking lot of the
blocks-long shopping center. All the other deaths in the sniper
spree were also caused by one shot.
The Washington Post, quoting an FBI
chaplain at Franklin's home, reported on its Web site that Franklin
and her husband were planning to move Friday to another home in the
area and were at Home Depot to buy supplies.
The center where Franklin worked,
established in 1998, is the only FBI organization scheduled to
transfer to the Department of Homeland Security under the Bush
The shooting spree that has terrorized
residents in the Washington area began Oct. 2 in Montgomery County,
Md. With Monday's shooting, the toll has grown to nine people killed
and two seriously wounded in Maryland, Virginia and the District of
''Ballistic evidence has conclusively
linked this case to the other murders in the area,'' Manger
Monday's killing happened near one of
northern Virginia's busiest intersections, where major arteries come
together to form seven corners. Virginia State Police said the van
was last seen traveling east on Route 50. Interstates 66 and 495 are
Clint Van Zandt, a former FBI profiler
who lives in Fredericksburg, said the location sets the slaying
apart. ''This is not bold, this is brazen,'' he said. ''It's a much
more highly congested area.''
While giving few details of the manhunt,
investigators have logged some consistencies: the killer favors
suburban gas stations; takes down each victim with a single bullet;
doesn't kill on weekends; and, judging from a fortunetelling tarot
card left at one of the shootings, appears to enjoy taunting police.
The card read:
''Dear Policeman, I am God.''
Many schools in the region remained under
FALLS CHURCH, Va. (Oct. 15) - Ballistic
evidence conclusively links the death of a woman shot in the head in
a suburban parking lot with eight other killings by a
Washington-area sniper, authorities said Tuesday.
Linda Franklin, 47, of Arlington was shot
Monday night as she and her husband loaded packages into their car
outside a Home Depot at the Seven Corners Shopping Center, Fairfax
County Police Chief Tom Manger said.
Some witnesses were able to give police
license plate numbers of vehicles seen leaving the scene, he
''There was some additional information
that we were able to get from last night's case and I am confident
that that information is going to lead us to an arrest in the
case,'' he said.
Police closed highways around Falls
Church, about 10 miles west of the nation's capital after the
shooting, and said they were on the lookout for a Chevrolet Astro
van that had a burned-out left rear tail light and had a chrome
ladder on its roof. The highways were reopened in time for rush
''There are a fair number of ways to
leave the area,'' Manger said.
The shooting spree that has terrorized
residents in the Washington area began Oct. 2 in Montgomery County,
Md. With Monday's shooting, the toll has grown to nine people killed
and two seriously wounded in Maryland, Virginia and the District of
''Ballistic evidence has conclusively
linked this case to the other murders in the area,'' Manger
Montgomery County Police Chief Charles
Moose, who is leading the task force investing the shootings, was on
the scene of the latest shooting.
Manger declined to confirm reports about
a specific description of a possible suspect, saying only that
several people contacted police after the shooting and that
investigators were still interviewing them.
''We have been receiving quite a bit of
information from witnesses,'' Manger said. ''Information is always
the key in solving cases like this.''
Monday's killing occurred at one of
northern Virginia's busiest intersections, where major arteries come
together to form seven corners. Virginia State Police said the van
was last seen traveling east on Route 50 from Falls Church.
Interstates 66 and 95 are nearby.
Clint Van Zandt, a former FBI profiler
who lives in Fredericksburg, Va., said the location sets the slaying
apart from the others. ''This is not bold, this is brazen,'' he
said. ''It's a much more highly congested area, even under the cover
The victim was felled by a single shot
about 9:15 p.m. as she stood in the parking lot of the blocks-long
shopping center. All the other deaths in the sniper spree were also
caused by one shot.
Police scoured the parking lot for
evidence and interviewed witnesses early Tuesday. There were a
number of people in the parking lot when the shooting occurred,
Fairfax County Police Chief Tom Manger said.
Shopper Raymond Massas said he ''heard
one shot. Not very loud, like a snap. After that I heard people
Two police helicopters circled the
''It hasn't been this frightening since
9/11,'' said Bob Bakley as he stared across Route 50.
Investigators have refused to discuss
details of the manhunt. But they have logged some consistencies: the
killer favors suburban gas stations; takes down each victim with a
single bullet; doesn't kill on weekends; and, judging from a
fortunetelling tarot card left at one of the shootings, appears to
enjoy taunting police. The card read: ''Dear Policeman, I am
Many schools in the region were under
lockdown Monday, meaning outdoor recess and physical education
classes were canceled and students were kept indoors all day. One of
the sniper's targets was a 13-year-old boy who was wounded outside
his school in Maryland.
''Everyone is edgy,'' said Montgomery
County Police Chief Charles Moose, who is heading the investigation.
''People are hearing things that may normally be
Earlier Monday, the longest lull yet in
the sniper's killing spree brought little relief as jittery
residents flooded police with calls after hearing a car backfire,
firecrackers or breaking glass.
''I'm looking around for every white van
I see,'' said Richard Spears, who was mowing grass at James Monroe
High School in Fredericksburg, Va. ''It makes you a little
President Bush said the ''cold-blooded''
attacks have made him sick to his stomach. ''I weep for those who
have lost their loved ones,'' he said. ''The idea of moms taking
their kids to school and sheltering them from a potential sniper
attack is not the America that I know.''
MISHAWAKA, Ind. (Sept. 28) - A woman
accused of hitting her 4-year-old daughter in a beating caught on
videotape was charged with giving police false addresses after her
Prosecutors expected Madelyne Gorman
Toogood to turn herself in a second time, this time on a warrant
charging her with false informing, a misdemeanor.
Toogood, 25, was released on $5,000 bond
earlier this week. She had turned herself in and pleaded innocent to
felony battery of a child in the Sept. 13 incident in a department
store parking lot, which was caught on a surveillance camera and
Toogood's attorney, Steve Rosen, did not
immediately return telephone messages left Friday.
Authorities say Toogood gave them
addresses for commercial mailbox businesses in Mishawaka, Elkhart
and Fort Worth, Texas.
Toogood has said she and her husband
belong to the nomadic group Irish Travelers, but have been living in
Mishawaka for about six months.
Bond on the new charge was set at $2,000.
A conviction is punishable by a maximum six months in jail or a
Toogood is seeking to have her daughter,
who was placed in a foster home, stay with relatives while she tries
to regain permanent custody. Toogood also has two young sons who
remained in her custody.
09/28/02 13:56 EDT