Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on October 26, 2002 · Page 5
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 5

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Saturday, October 26, 2002
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Saturday, October 26,2002 - Page 5 ELSEWHERE News from the nation, world Briefs By The Associated Press New drug sweeps into West Coast SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The newest drug to hit California's underground club scene is sweet, colorful — and deadly. The drug, a form of metham- phetamine called ya ba, a Thai name meaning "crazy drug," has made its way into raves and is said to be significantly more powerful and dangerous than the current club drug of choice, Ecstasy. The pills, which cost $10 to $20 apiece, are sometimes passed off as Ecstasy to unwitting users, said Will Glaspy, a spokesman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Packing a potent mix of highly addictive metham- phetamine and caffeine, ya ba can keep users awake for days and has hallucinogenic effects, sometimes causing users to believe they have bugs crawling under their skin. Principal pleads guilty to stealing BARTOW, Fla. — An elementary school principal has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $30,000 from the school system anditsPTA. Barbara Brokenburr, 51, pleaded guilty Friday to four counts of grand theft and one count of official misconduct. The suspended principal at Jewett School of the Arts in Winter Haven must pay $30,374 in restitution by Dec. 19 or face up to a year in jail. She is also sentenced to 10 years of probation, ordered to pay $1,100 for the state attorney's office investigation, and will lose her teaching certificate. France claims victory over U.S. UNITED NATIONS — France claimed a first-round victory over the United States in the battle over a U.N. resolution on Iraq, saying its new proposal has more support because it eliminates tough U.S. language that many fear could trigger an attack. But the United States countered that its draft has equal backing— if not more. The decision by France and Russia to introduce their own proposals Friday and challenge the new U.S. draft resolution suddenly put three documents into the hands of the 15 Security Council nations, setting the stage for tense negotiations. The rival documents reflect the division among the five veto- wielding permanent council members, who could not resolve their differences over a new approach to Iraq during six weeks of negotiations. Marchers protest plans for war WASHINGTON — Organizers promise an angry, loud but nonviolent protest against war in Iraq, hoping to show strong opposition to President Bush's preemptive war policies by drawing thousands of protesters to the capitals streets. Today's march around the White House coincides with anti-war demonstrations in San Francisco, Rome, Berlin, Copenhagen, Tokyo and Mexico City. Organizers say they expected the combined participation of hundreds of thousands of people. Turnout was below expectations for the first overseas demonstration, a march through downtown Tokyo in which about 300 protesters sang anti-war songs and held up banners. Bush's daughter released from jail ORLANDO, Fla. — Gov. Jeb Bush's daughter was released from jail early today, 10 days after a judge ordered her locked up for violating terms of her court-ordered drug treatment program. Noelle Bush left the Orange County jail around 4 a.m., said Allen Moore, spokesman for the county corrections department She was to return to the Center for Drug-Free Living in Orlando. The president's 25-year-old niece had been ordered to attend drug treatment after she was arrested in January for allegedly trying to use a fraudulent prescription to buy the anti-anxiety drug Xanax at a pharmacy. Charges filed against sniper suspects By TOM HAYS Associated Press Writer ROCKVILLE, Md. — Maryland prosecutors filed the first murder charges against two suspected snipers — another signal a three- week terror spree has ended and that residents can safely venture outside without fear. "I don't have to worry about walking outside and getting shot," said Ryan Burditt, an eighth-grader at Benjamin Tasker Middle School in Bowie, Md., where a student was critically injured Oct. 7. In filing six first-degree murder counts against John Allen Muhammad, 41, and John Lee Malvo, 17, Maryland authorities said Friday they would seek the death penalty against the older suspect. Malvo will be tried as an adult, but the death penalty cannot be applied if his reported age of 17 is verified. Maryland law does not allow for the death penalty against people under age 18. As the first charges in the case were announced, federal and state officials began wrangling over whose case would take precedence — and new details emerged about the investigation of the shooting spree. Justice Department officials are still deciding whether to bring their own charges. One official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said federal prosecutors could use the Hobbs Act, which allows the government to seek the death penalty in murders where killers try to extort money. Law enforcement sources have said one letter left behind in the sniper cases demanded $10 million. Earlier Friday, Alabama law enforcement officials filed murder charges against the two suspects and said they would seek the death penalty in the fatal shooting of a woman outside a liquor store Sept. 21 in Montgomery, Ala. The police chief, John Wilson, said investigators b el ieve Muh ammad firedtheshots. Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas Gansler announced the murder charges after a meeting with prosecutors from jurisdictions where the killings took place. In all, 10 people were killed and three wounded in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Gansler said each of the jurisdictions has a vital interest in the case, but Montgomery County was the "community most affected and most impacted by the shootings." One issue in play is how each differs on the death penalty. Virginia and Alabama may be more likely than Maryland to actually carry out executions. The men, who were arrested Thursday at a Maryland rest stop, could be prosecuted later in Virginia and other jurisdictions. Police linked a rifle in their car to 11 of the shootings that spanned a swath of suburban communities in the Washington area. Authorities were tipped off last summer that Muhammad might be dangerous. Law enforcement officials said the FBI in Washington state interviewed a witness who claimed Muhammad was trying to obtain a silencer for his gun and spoke of killing police officers. FBI agents and local police had concerns about some aspects of the witness' account and decided to treat the threat as a local issue of officer safety, the officials told The Associated Press. Authorities said emphatically that nothing they received in June or July from the witness, I larjee Singh, sug- Russian special forces stormed a Moscow theater today, killing 42 Chechen gunmen and freeing more than 700 hostages. (AP photo) Forces storm theater, free hundreds 67 hostages dead, official reports By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV Associated Press Writer MOSCOW — Gunfire rattled in the theater at dawn today and Russian special forces pumped it full of sleeping gas before troops stormed the building, killing 42 Chechen rebels and freeing more than 700 captives in the third day of a hostage drama. Officials said 67 captives were killed. The Chechen rebels seized die theater Wednesday night during a popular musical and demanded President Vladmir Putin pull the Russian army out of their homeland where war has raged for most of the past decade. The brazen takeover stunned Moscow and all of Russia. Many of the freed hostages were taken to hospitals in city buses still unconscious or having difficulty walking. Deputy Interior Minister Vladimir Vasilyev did not say what type of gas was used during the raid. Hours after the operation, Vasilyev said 67 hostages had died in the crisis. He did not specify whether that figure included people killed by the rebels before the special forces raid. He said no children were among the dead, nor were the estimated 75 foreign hostages harmed. His figures showed about 750 hostages were freed. The ministry later said 42 of the rebels were killed, including 18 women, Russian news agencies reported. "We are grieving with those close to the 67 hostages who were lost. We couldn't save them," an emotional Vasilyev said. It was unclear how the hostages were killed or who killed them. Putin visited with some of (he freed hostages at Sklifosovsky Hospital. Russian television showed Putin, clad in a white doctor's coat, speaking with some of the hostages. "Stay here and rest," Putin toid a young man identified as Nikita, who replied "OK, I will stay and rest, but I want to take a shower." The hostage takers had thoroughly mined the building. Hostages said bombs were placed in the center of the theater and the stage and aisles were mined. "The structure of the building and the threat of an explosion gave evidence that no one would survive in the building if the explosion was powerful enough. Such is its architecture," Vasilyev said. Shortly after the storming, officials said some gunmen were believed to have fled into the Russian capital of 9 million people, but Federal Security Service chief Nikolai Patrushev told President Vladimir Putin hours later that none of the captors escaped. In that meeting, Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov said about 30 accomplices of the gunmen had been arrested in the Moscow area, but details were not immediately available. Moscow Prosecutor Mikhail Avdyukov said later that four suspects were detained in the capital, including two suspected of having been among the hostage-takers. At least three people were killed by gunmen inside the theater. A young woman was killed in the early hours of the crisis, although it was not clear if she was a hostage or a distraught relative who had rushed into the building. Early today, officials said the captors killed two hostages and wounded two others. The hostage-takers earlier threatened to begin killing their captives at dawn today. After the two killings, officials reached the captors by phone but then quickly said their negotiations had failed. The raid began. gested Muhammad and Malvo would later cross the country and go on a random killing spree in the suburbs around the nation's capital as they are now suspected of doing. The investigation also has shown how the suspects were hiding in plain sight during the three-week rampage. According 10 the FBI, police in Baltimore approached Muhammad as he slept in his car Oct. 8. Muhammad told the officer he was traveling and police, looking for a white van, did not detain him. The New York Times reported Saturday there were two other times during the three- week terror spree the snipers' car was also pulled over — and then released. Baltimore Police Commissioner Edward Norris praised the officer who checked Muhammad's identification and license tag. Sniper work earns chief praise By SARA KUGLER Associated Press Writer BALTIMORE — The man who led the sniper investigation has been showered by a grateful public with gifts and flowers, and even has a fan Web site that declares him "a total superhero." One highway banner urged Montgomery Police Chief Charles Moose, the frontman for the tense three- week probe, to run for president "Thanks MD police!" reads the hand-lettered sheet hung from an overpass on Interstate 70 near Frederick, Md. "Moose 4 prez!" Several other banners hang above highways in Maryland, where John Allen Muhammad, 41, and John Lee Malvo, 17, were captured early Thursday. Ten people were killed and three were wounded in the string of shootings that stumped police and terrorized residents in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The chief's face, sometimes showing the strain of the investigation, became known across the nation during televised news conferences. Mail from Moose's fans began to trickle in to police headquarters in Rockville when the deadly shooting spree began, but arrived in heaps after police arrested the suspects, police spokeswoman Nancy Nickerson said. She said nearly all of the messages are addressed directly to Moose. Thank-yous have arrived from nearby communities where people lived in fear of the rifle-toting gunmen, and from well-wishers as far away as Australia. The gifts have included Girl Scout cookies, homemade chicken soup and crayoned cards. A Web site that calls itself the "Chief Moose Fan Club," gushes that the 49- year-old investigator "is really powerful and mighty." "He is also an eloquent, passionate man," reads the site (www.chief- moose.com), which features links to an unofficial Moose biography, and a page where fans can post their praises. One of the site's founders, Bronwen Liggitt, 22, of Baltimore, said she and several friends created it last week. They were glued to television coverage of the manhunt. Kenna wrecks towns, blocks highways across Mexico coast By LISA J. ADAMS Associated Press Writer SAN BIAS, Mexico —The majority. of homes in this fishing village were blown to bits, dozens of other coastal areas were cut off completely and neck-high flood waters poured through the streets of Puerto Vallarta as Hurricane Kenna tore across Mexico's Pacific coast. Merciless 140 mph winds uprooted trees, blew away roofs and sent cars hurtling through the air in San Bias, a village of 8,000 people that is popular with tourists. Kenna weakened to a tropical storm late Friday but continued to drench the mountains of northern Mexico with torrential rains. Early estimates put the damage at more than $50 million. Fearing flash floods, authorities as far north as the border state of Tamuiipas began evacuating thou- sands of people from communities built near rivers and on hillsides. The National Hurricane Center in Miami reported that Kenna could regain strength once it reaches the warm Gulf of Mexico late today. There were no reports of deaths buf authorities said more than 150 people in the coastal states of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa were injured by flying debris. "Suddenly the wind came roaring in from the mountains and at the same time more wind carried water in from the sea. The two forces clashed in the middle/' said Sergio Ramon Gonzalez, a 20-year-old police officer, who sat staring at the flood-soaked San Bias police station. "Metal began to fly, trees crashed to the ground and roofs were ripped off of houses. It was really ugly." Further south in Puerto Vallarta, which attracts more than 2 million tourists annually, waves flooded cobblestone streets, sending tourists and residents scrambling for higher ground. Downtown storefronts were smashed, upscale restaurants were battered and hotel swimming pools were flooded with seawater. Emergency officials waded through neck-high waters, trying to restore power and phone service to the area. Police closed Puerto Vallarta's popular city center after receiving dozens of reports of looting. Soldiers were patrolling downtown early today and authorities said eight people were arrested for looting in the area. Hazel Burns, a 26-year-old student from Southampton, England, said she and her friends tried to leave the resort Friday, but their bus was forced back by a fallen tree blocking the road. "I don't think I've ever been so scared in my entire life. All the cars were swimming around," Burns said. A couple waited for a bus under heavy rain and high winds as Hurricane Kenna approached Friday in Tep'tc, Mexico. (AP photo}

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