ELSEWHERE Monday, September 15,2003 — Page 7 News from the nation, world Briefs By The Associated Press Army takes over West-African area LISBON, Portugal — Soldiers-enforced a dawn-to- dusk curfew on the deserted streets of Guinea-Bissau's capital following a bloodless military coup that came amid popular unrest in one of the world's poorest nations. Radio reports said Bissau was calm today, a day after army chief of staff Gen. Verissimo CorreiaSeabre declared himself in charge and soldiers arrested President KiimbaYala, detaining him at a military barracks. Seabre told Radiodifusao Portuguesa, Portugal's state broadcaster, that he would maintain power until elections can be held, but that Yala would be released. Blast damages security building MAGAS, Russia — A truck filled with explosives blew up today outside a government security building in a south- em Russian region bordering Chechnya, killing at least two people and wounding at least 15, a doctor and news reports said. The explosion shattered all, the glass in the Ingushetia regional headquarters of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, leaving .the three-story building severely damaged but still standing. The 1TAR- Tass news agency reported that there were as many as 100 people in the building at the time of the blast. Overturned cars lay crumpled in a pile near the charred FSB building in In- gushetia's capital, Magas. Buying Canada drugs considered CHICAGO — Gov. Rod Blagojevich is exploring whether Illinois might save millions of dollars if health plans allowed for state employees and retirees to buy prescription drugs from Canada. "Anything we can do that safely and effectively reduces those costs is definitely worth looking into," Blagojevich said Sunday in a statement. Americans seeking relief from high prescription drug prices have been turning to pharmacies in Canada, where prescription drugs are much cheaper because of a favorable exchange rate and government controls. Analysts: Growth to rebound WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy, after three years of lackluster growth, is finally poised to begin a sustained rebound that will start to cut the unemployment rate, a national business group predicted today. The National Association for Business Economics, or NABE, forecast the gross domestic product, the country's total output of goods and services, would grow at a 4.5 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter and at a 4 percent rate in the October-December period. That forecast, if proven correct, would mark the first time since 1999 that the GDP has been able to grow at a rate of 4 percent or better for two consecutive quarters. Students pledge allegiance to TV ST- PAUL, Minn. — Students at Central High School have been watching TV during the Pledge of Allegiance, but no one's complaining. Unable to buy enough real flags for the new school year, Central High has taken to showing an image of the American flag on classroom TVs while students make the pledge. A new state law requires school children to say the pledge at least once a week, and the school simply doesn't have enough flags for that. The problem started five years ago when the high school was repainted and many flag holders were taken down, Principal Mary Mackbee said. Man arrested as death of athletes' sister probed By JEREMIAH MARQUEZ and STEVE WILSTEIN Associated Press Writers CQMPTON, Calif. —A 24-year- old man was arrested in the fatal shooting of an older sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced early today. Sheriff's deputies were still searching for two other possible suspects: Yetunde Price, 31, was shot in the chest early Sunday about a mile from the tennis courts where her sisters first rose to prominence in this Los Angeles suburb that has long been notorious for gang activity and violence. Price had been sitting with a man in a sport utility vehicle when "somehow they had become involved in a confrontation with the local residents," said sheriff's Deputy Richard Pena. "That dispute led to gunfire and the woman was shot in the upper torso," Deputy Scott Butler said today. The suspect arrested was identified as Aaron Michael Hammer, 24, of Compton. He was booked for investigation of murder late Sunday and jailed without bond, said sheriff's Deputy Bill Spear. Authorities said Hammer was arrested after deputies interviewed a half-dozen people, including Hammer, at.a home on the street where Price was shot. The man with Price was not hurt and drove her to a relative's house in Long Beach, from which he called 911, Pena said. Price, 31, was taken to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, where she died. Early today, authorities identified the man with Price as Rolland Wormley, 28. He was jailed after authorities discovered he was on parole, which they said he violated by being at the scene of- the shooting. It wasn't disclosed what he was on parole for. Authorities said it wasn't known whether Price knew her assailant or what prompted the dispute. An assault rifle was found at the murder scene and neighbors reported hearing six to 20 gunshots. The Williams sisters issued a statement shortly after the. shooting saying their family had been overwhelmed with grief at news of Price's death. Venus flew Sunday from New York to Los Angeles and Serena traveled from Toronto to gather with relatives. Price, a registered nurse who owned a beauty salon, was a personal assistant to her half-sisters. "We are extremely shocked, saddened and devastated by the shooting death of our beloved Yetunde," the family said in the statement. "She was our nucleus and our rock. She was personal assistant, confidant, and adviser to her sisters, and her death leaves a void that can never be filled. Our grief is overwhelming, and this is the saddest day of our lives," the statement said. Yetvnde Price, /eft, pictured with sister Serena Williams at the ESPY Awards in July, was shot to death Sunday in Compton, Calif. (AP photo) Compton. She was divorced and had three children, Jair, 5; Justus, 9; and Jeffrey, 11. She had moved to Corona, 40 miles from Compton in neighboring Riverside County, and took her mother's maiden name a few years ago after her parents divorced. She recently opened a hair salon in nearby Lakewood with a friend from high school. The tree-shaded street where Price died is lined with homes with barred windows. Residents said gunfire is a common weekend disruption. Rodolfo Pulido, 35, who lives around the corner, was awakened by the shots but did not go outside. "Week after week, I hear gunfire. It's common," he said. Price was one of five sisters who spent their early years in Report: City schools lose top job candidates By BEN FELLER AP Education Writer WASHINGTON — For five years, Roni Cooper tried to get a teaching job at a New Orleans public school. She had experience, credentials and an interest in working in the hard-to-fill field of special education — just the combination schools.want. No one would even take her application. Finally, at a job fair in May, she met the new leaders of the school district and gave them her story. It wasn't the first one they'd heard .about a plodding, mismanaged process. Within a week, they promised her work. She's now teaching deaf elementary school students. "In some of these inner cities, it's just nightmarish," Cooper said about the hiring routine. "They're missing people who Efforts on mass graves criticized By MATT KELLEY Associated Press Writer MAHAWEEL, Iraq — Every day for three weeks in 1991, Iraqi soldiers brought truckloads of rebellious Shiite Muslims to this flat, lonely cornfield near the ruins of Babylon. The victims were shoved into shallow pits and shot. Bulldozers pushed the gray earth over them, burying some alive. "I don't think anyone can stand here and not come away with a sense of the importance of this," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld mused on a visit to the site earlier this month. Rumsfeld was among top U.S. officials to come here to defend the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq by invoking the evils of Saddam Hussein's regime. But human rights activists say that for all the focus on the atrocities, the American response to the mass graves has been slow, disorganized and inadequate. In particular, key evidence for any possible criminal trials already has been destroyed. "It's rather shocking, in fact, the investment ... of very, very little into this area — not only of the mass graves but everything the mass graves represent," said Joe Stork of Human Rights Watch. want to do this for tiny amounts of money." A nationwide report released today supports her view: Urban schools are 1 losing high-qualified candidates because of dysfunctional personnel departments and sluggish hiring timelines. It's the central theme of the analysis by The New Teacher Project, a nonprofit group that helps some of the country's largest school ^districts recruit teachers.., '. Y . ...', By late summer of a given year, when many urban districts make job offers, many candidates have fled for suburban systems that move faster in recruitment, the report said. The lost prospects, it added, are more likely to have better college grades and a de- some of these inner cities, it's just nightmarish. They're missing people who want to do this for tiny amounts of money." — Roni Cooper, special-education teacher gree in their teaching field than those hired in the cities. "Right in front of their faces are the very teachers these districts need to hire," said Jessica Levin, a co-author of the report. The findings are based on analyses of job applications at four urban districts in the Southwest, Midwest and East,' all given access in exchange for anonymity. Project leaders also conducted phone and e-mail surveys and conducted focus groups with university faculty, teachers and others to put the findings in per- .spective. The problems in the selected school districts are representative of many city school systems, said Levin. Cumbersome application reviews, poor customer service and a lack of urgency are common barriers, the report said. But so are policies outside the control of personnel departments, it added. Some teachers are allowed to provide virtually no notice that they plan to resign or retire, leaving schools in the dark about coming vacancies until the fall. Often, the report said, schools must hire union-protected teachers who want to transfer from other schools, which slows the process and prevents principals from hiring whomever they want. At this cemetery in No/of, groves of bodies reburied from plastic bags of their belongings for relatives to identify. This mass grave yielded more than 3,100 bodies in May'when relatives swarmed the site with shovels in a desperate search for their loved ones. More than 2,100 were identified through clothing or ID cards and taken away by families for burial. Now, about 900 unidentified bodies have been reburied in neat rows, each grave marked with a plastic bag containing the belongings .found on the body. Although understandable, experts say, the families' digging has all but destroyed any chance of accurately identifying all the victims or ever using the grave as evidence in court against those who committed the massacre. Local Iraqis say as many as 12,000 other bodies from the same massacre might be buried in the area. Hundreds of bodies were found at another mass grave a half-mile away. Saddam Hussein's regime killed an estimated 300,000 Iraqis, said Sandy Hodgkinson, the top human rights official in the U.S.-led civilian administration here. Mahaweel is one of as many as 500 mass graves across Iraq, and coalition authorities have received formal reports of 151 sites, Hodgkinson told Rumsfeld. Yet, much of the evidence has been destroyed in the anguished frenzy of digging at Mahaweel and other sites around Iraq, human rights groups and coalition officials agree. Most of the known mass grave mass graves are marked with (AP photo) sites haven't been secured by coalition forces, either because of a lack of guards or out of respect for relatives' wishes, Hodgkinson said. The coalition is working with Iraqi groups to train guards for some sites, she said. That's not enough, critics contend. "The resources that would be required to exhume and begin a process to identify remains from what are believed to be a very large number of mass graves are huge," said Susannah Sirkin of Physicians for Human Rights. "I haven't seen evidence of the level of resources and commitment and personnel that would be required to help the Iraqis do this properly." Pig sculpture honors soap, pork industries CINCINNATI (AP) — Sudsie should be the cleanest pig in Cincinnati. The sculpture of a winged pig, weighing more than 7,000 pounds, was carved out of the equivalent of 26,666 bars of Ivory soap. "People say it's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it," said artist Bev Kirk, who worked with three other people to carve the pig for the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. The chamber commissioned the sculpture for display outside the International Economic Development Conference in Cincinnati this week. Sudsie was sculpted out of a 5- foot'by-S-foot-by-S-foot bar of Ivory soap and intended to honor the soapmaking and pork business history of Cincinnati. Ivory is made by Cincinnati- based Procter & Gamble. Kirk worked on the sculpture for three days with her daughter Andrea Ziemak, friend Richard Whitehead and art instructor Frederic Bonin Pissarro, the great-grandson of painter Camille Pissarro. The artists used a variety of instruments, including an edger, a spade, stainless steel wires used for slicing hunks of cheese, heavy-duty ice cream scoops, melon bailers, putty knives and bottle openers. Kirk said she enjoyed watching people do a double-take at the sculpture. "I just love the reactions from people," said Kirk. "It's really interactive art." Many state and local budgets also aren't set until the end of June, if not later, causing financial uncertainty that put schools at a disadvantage, it said. The report called for those policies to be changed, a task that a coalition of large urban districts called daunting. "One can say, 'Well, just change it,' but sometimes that means either going back to the bargaining table or going to the legislature and changing law," said Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools. ' "Neither thing is always very simple to do." Casserly did praise the report for raising important issues and said his group will work with The New Teacher Project to pursue improvements. (On the Net: The New Teacher Project, www.tntp.org) Swedes reject euro By MATT MOORE AP Business Writer STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Swedish voters decisively rejected the euro in a setback for European integration after a turbulent week in which the Scandinavian country's foreign minister, a euro supporter, was stabbed to death. Sunday's referendum provided a boost for euro opponents in Britain and Denmark, still using their own currencies. The two, along with Sweden, are holdouts to using the currency, which came into circulation in the European Union in 2002. Denmark had rejected the euro in a referendum in 2000. "We have evidently not been able to firmly establish the European idea among the voters," said Alf Svensson, leader of the opposition Christian Democrats and a euro supporter. "People still seem to believe that we live in a Europe with national borders and national currency, but the reality is something else." With all votes counted, 56.1 percent of the more than 5.4 mil-, lion ballots cast were against the euro, while 41.8 percent voted for it. Two percent cast blank ballots. Turnout was 81.2 percent. The results ran contrary to opinion polls in the final days leading up to the vote, which showed support for'the yes side surging in the wake of the stabbing death of Foreign Minister Anna Lindh on Wednesday. The attack on Lindh, which police said did not appear politically motivated, came during the final stages of campaigning on whether Sweden should join the European Monetary Union. Lindh was stabbed repeatedly by an unknown assailant as she shopped in an upscale Stockholm department store. She died Thursday after hours of surgery. Police on Sunday released pictures of a possible suspect, but have made no arrests.
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