ELSEWHERE Thursday, October 24,2002 - Page 7 News from the nation, world Briefs By The Associated Press U.S. pressures Security Council UNITED NATIONS — Pushing ahead on Iraq after weeks of diplomatic wrangling, the United States put its tough new proposal into the hands of the Security Council in preparation for a vote that could come as early as next week. Russia appeared to be the main obstacle early on, rejecting the draft chiefly due to language that could trigger military action against Iraq. But France, which has similar objections and was a vocal opponent of earlier U.S. offerings, was ready to negotiate and wouldn't block the resolution's passage, French diplomats said. The U.S. proposal, drafted with British support, gives U.N. inspectors broad new powers to search and destroy material related to weapons of mass destruction and warns Iraq of "serious consequences" if it obstructs their work. British Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock said the text "is very clearly intended to be a last chance offer to Iraq." Ratcheting up the pressure on the council, White House officials said they wanted negotiations wrapped up quickly. And a senior U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the draft was introduced to the full 15-member council Wednesday in the hopes of showing China, France and Russia that it had support from other members. Al-Qaida ally suspected in blast JAKARTA, Indonesia — The Muslim extremist network topping the list of suspects behind the Bali bombings is thought to be one of al-Qaida's deadliest and closest allies, plotting violence in an effort to turn much of southeast Asia into an Islamic superstate. In the past year, members of Jemaah Islamiyah — which means Islamic Group — have, been tied to Sept. 11 hijackers, plots to destroy U.S. and other Western targets, and bombings at churches, shopping areas and nightclubs. With increasing intelligence pointing to the group's strong links to Osama bin Laden's al- Qaida network, the United States on Wednesday branded the group a terrorist organization and asked the international community to dry up its assets. Australia, which lost dozens of citizens in the attacks on the Indonesian resort of Bali two weeks ago, plans to make the same case to the United Nations in an effort to get the group outlawed internationally. Air pollution could get worse WASHINGTON — Two new studies suggest air pollution from oil refineries and factories would increase under proposed Bush administration rules facing heavy scrutiny by a Senate committee. The Environmental Protection Agency is due to deliver documents to the committee Thursday detailing decision-making on a plan to relax former President Clinton's controls for emissions from aging coal-fired power plants and other facilities. The studies by a consultant used by the EPA were commissioned by the Environmental Integrity Project, a group funded by the Rockefeller Family Fund and headed by Eric Schaeffer, a former chief of civil enforcement at the EPA. He released the studies Wednesday. Company sues Martha Stewart DENVER — A company that sells pumpkin-carving kits has filed a lawsuit accusing Martha Stewart's company of patent infringement, adding to .the domestic diva's legal woes. Denver-based Pumpkin Masters claimed in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday that Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. is marketing and selling pumpkin-carving kits that violate its patent. Pumpkin Masters is seeking unspecified damages. Company officials could not be reached late Wednesday. Stewart is chief executive and chairman of the company bearing her name. A message left Wednesday night at the company's public relations firm was not returned. Two negotiators, one of them well-known singer Josef Kobzon, left, and a woman and three children today that was seized by armed Chechens in downtown Moscow on Wednesday. who were hostages left a theater (AP photo) Chechen rebels release some hostages By ERIC ENGLEMAN Associated Press Writer MOSCOW — At least 40 Chechen rebels threatened to kill hundreds of hostages in a Moscow theater today, but intermediaries who entered the building bearing a white flag won the release of five more hostages- Sharpshooters perched on rooftops around the theater less than three miles from the Kremlin, but authorities held off on any rescue attempt. Distraught relatives tried to reach family members inside the theater. Alina Vlasova, 24, said her sister Marina was so upset when she called from inside the theater that she could barely speak. "They are standing over us with automatic rifles and are getting angrier," Alina said her sister told her. More than 100 women and children had been released since the gunmen in camouflage stormed into the theater at 9:05 p.m. Wednesday during a performance of a musical, Moscow police spokesman Valery Gribakin said. The freed hostages were sobbing and shaking as they emerged. Gribakin said there were 40-50 armed attackers and about 600 people inside the theater when it was seized. The theater holds 1,163 people and 711 tickets had been sold. A pro-rebel Web site, www.kavkaz.org, said today that Russia had seven days to begin withdrawing from Chechnya or the theater would be blown up. President Vladimir Putin canceled his trip this week to the APEC summit in Mexico as the secessionist war that has bedeviled Russia for a decade came terrifyingly home to the nation's capital. Meeting with security officials today, Putin said "freeing the hostages with the maximum en- surance of their safety," was the main goal- Putin said the raid was planned "in one of the foreign terrorist centers" but did not name it. The dramatic siege was a bitter blow for Putin, who repeatedly has said Russia has the situation in Chechnya, a mainly Muslim republic in southern Russia, under control. Two Americans — a man and woman — were among the hostages, a U.S. Embassy official said, but did not provide identities. Citizens of the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Australia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan and Latvia also were confirmed to be among the captives. In Washington, White House spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement that "the American government and the American people stand with the people of Russia at this difficult moment. There are no causes or national aspirations that justify the taking of innocent hostages." Russian authorities began communicating with the hostage- takers early Thursday, hours after the hostage-drama began. The attackers, including women, fired automatic- weapons and demanded that Russia end the war in Chechnya. Four people, including a man waving a white flag, entered the building Thursday afternoon. Three were representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross; the fourth was parliament member losif Kobzon, a Federal Security Service- spokesman said. Kobzon also is a leading Russian singer who has performed songs- lauding Chechnya. Shortly thereafter, a man in his 60s, appearing feeble and distraught, lefl the theater. A spokesman tor the British Embassy said he was a U.K. citizen and was hospitalized but did not identify him. A few minutes later, a woman and three children, all believed to be Russians, were released. Feds trace sales of goods to terrorists By JOHN SOLOMON andTEDBRIDIS Associated Press Writers WASHINGTON — Buyer beware: That knockoff designer T-shirt you buy from a streetside stand on your next vacation or that, bargain software you find on the Internet could be helping to finance a terrorist group. Federal authorities have several investigations under way examining evidence suggesting that Hezbollah, Hamas and other terror networks • might be selling counterfeit products to pay for their worldwide activities, officials told The Associated Press. . Terrorists are benefiting from "counterfeit merchandise schemes involving a host of consumer items such as designer clothing, jewelry, fashion accessories and household products," the government told banks and businesses in an anti-terrorism advisory this month. The advisory from the U.S. Customs Service-led Operation Green Quest— a task force of several federal agencies that is tracking terror money worldwide — enlisted businesses' help in the effort and provided a lengthy list of signs that could indicate terror-related money laundering. Senior law enforcement officials who spoke only on condition of anonymity said the FBI, Customs Service and other agencies are investigating the sale of stolen or counterfeit computer software, T-shirts and handbags that are suspected of benefiting terrorist networks. Officials said the schemes span the globe from Paraguay to Pakistan, but there is direct evidence that some counterfeit products are being imported from overseas and sold directly in the United States, with the proceeds from Americans going back to terror groups. Brands as famous as Microsoft or Nike are among the counterfeit sales seen over the past few years, which are believed to have reached into the millions of dollars, officials said. "These sales produce a steady stream of money, and we're now trying to reconstruct how the proceeds are laundered back to the Middle East," one senior official said. "We are trying to make the direct link to terror groups." Officials said they also are investigating the conversion of store coupons to cash that is suspected of benefiting terrorist causes. And computer industry officials said federal 4 CSF hits high school classrooms By JIM FITZGERALD Associated Press Writer NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. —r The muddy area around the crime scene had yielded several promising footprints, and the crime scene investigators had carefully applied a liquid molding mixture. But when they tried to dig out the first hardened cast, it broke in half. "Awwww," said the investigators, sounding like the teenagers they are. The investigators are the first high school students in the nation to use a forensic-science curriculum offered by Court TV and designed to capitalize on the interest in television shows like "CSI" and "Forensic Files." Science teachers at high schools in the New York City suburbs of New Rochelle, Jericho and Wantagh are using some or all of the nine lessons in the curriculum, and their experiences will he presented this weekend to 150 other teachers from around the country at the Forensic Science Educational Conference in New Evan Shapiro, a Court TV vice president, said he hopes the curriculum, which can be downloaded for free beginning Friday, will be in 1,000 classrooms nationwide by May. "What people like about (hese TV shows is looking over the shoulder of the investigator," he said. "We're hoping to lake (his interest, and High school students in a forensic science class prepared to make a cast of a footprint behind New Rochelle High School in New Rochelle, N.Y., Tuesday. (APphoto) maybe the interest in real-life crimes like 9-11 or anthrax or the Washington sniper, and turn it into a real interest in biology and chemistry that shows these kids why science is important to their life." Court TV devised ihe curriculum with guidance from the American Academy of Forensic Science. New Rochelle teacher Scott Rubins said it meets all educational standards. The nine lessons, grouped into three mysleries, include lests for gunshot residue and fingerprint matching. Together, they might typically fill a few weeks of the .school year, Rubins said. U.S. opens FBI office in Beijing SyAUDRAANG Associated Press Writer BEIJING — U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced today the opening of an FBI office in Beijing — a step meant to strengthen U.S.-Chinese cooperation in fighting terrorism and international crime. "The United States and China agree that the most important ... response to terrorism is that we act — cooperatively arid swiftly," Ashcroft said at a news conference at the U.S. Embassy. Washington has repeatedly asked for permission to open an FBI office, but China only agreed in February, when President Bush met with Chinese President Jiang Zemin in Bei- authorities have contacted them recently seeking information about the possible sale of bootleg software lied to possible terrorists. While counterfeit sales long have been linked to organized crime, law enforcement increased its focus on terrorist groups after the Sept. 11 al- tacks. U.S. intelligence, however, has been aware of such activities for several years, particularly counterfeit sales benefiting Hezbollah, officials said. "At the end of day, people who are buying branded products off the street should stop and say to themselves, 'Am I indirectly supporting any type of illegal activity? Is even a dime or dollar going toward trafficking narcotics or to terrorism?"' said Tim Trainer, a former Customs Service official who now heads the International Anticounlerfeiting Coalition in Washington. Alaska rocked by quake By MAUREEN CLARK Associated Press Writer i ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A strong earthquake rocked a broad swath of Alaska on Wednesday, waking people up hundreds of miles from the epicenter and knocking items off shelves but causing no major damage or injuries. The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 6.7, hit at 3:27 a.m. and was centered about 30 miles southeast of Denali National Park. It was felt as far as 350 miles away, said Bnice Tanner, a seismologist with the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer. In Healy, just north of the park, Grandview Bed and Breakfast co- owner Shelly Acleson said ibe quake knocked just about everything off the walls and shelves. "Usually they kind of roll, you can kind of hear them coming," she said. "This one sounded like it was kind of mad — boom, boom, boom." The quake was felt by residents in Fairbanks, B5 miles north of the epicenter and Anchorage, 170 miles to ihe southwest. - t The one-person FBI office is to be staffed by Tony Lau, a 20-year Chinese-American veteran of the bureau. According to the agency's Web site, it has more than 40 such offices worldwide. "We think that this will help the two sides carry out law enforcement and judicial cooperation on the principle of mutual benefits," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jiunchao said. Lau's job will be to promote cooperation aimed at "curtailing organized and transnational crime ... and in the major endeavor of counterter- rorism," Ashcroft said. "That is our highest priority." Ashcroft is in the middle of a weeklong trip to Asia to discuss law enforcement efforts in the war on terrorism. Earlier in the week, he met with Japanese Foreign Minster Yoriko Kawagiichi in Tokyo. Me planned to visit I long Kong before returning to the United States on Friday. Ashcroft said that in Beijing he had met with Luo Can, the Communist Party's senior law-enforcement official, and lustice Minister Zhang Fusen. He said he was pleased that they and other Chinese officials "uniformly indicate that wherever, whenever, however terrorism can be disrupted, (it) needs to be disrupted." Liu said the meetings were "an important part of the international campaign against terrorism and part and parcel of the constructive and cooperative relations" between China and the United States. China has accused the East Turkestan Islamic Movement — a small group seeking independence for the Muslim Chinese northwest — of being part of an international Islamic terrorist conspiracy. Beijing says the group got weapons and training from Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network, though It has not provided evidence to support its claims. The U.S. government had initially rejected the Chinese claims, but in August added the group to its own list of terrorist organizations. That step came the day after China released rules on missile exports that had long been sought by Washington. The liming prompted some observers to say the Bush administration was motivated by politics rather than solid evidence against the group. Earthquake with preliminary magnitude of 6.2 struck Wednesday ALASKA Healy^ Denali N.P. JJ 0 50 mi 0 50km Cantwell , Palmer SOURCES: AlaskaTsunami Warning AP Cenler; ESRI The quake struck nt the relatively shallow depth of about six miles, which is why it was felt by so many people, said Guy Urban, a geophysicist with the tsunami center. In Talkeetna, about 100 miles southwest of the epicenter, the manager of a general store said the quake sent wine bottles and canned goods crashing to the floor.
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