Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on September 14, 1990 · Page 7
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 7

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Indiana, Pennsylvania
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Friday, September 14, 1990
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Page 7
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ELSEWHERE .Tuesday, September 16,2003 — Page 7 News from the nation, world Briefs By The Associated Press Gang associate arrested in killing COMPTON, Calif. — Police investigating the slaying of Venus and Serena Williams' > older sister focused on the possibility that gang feud or a drug dispute might have led to the death of the 31- year- old mother of three. Aaron Michael Hammer, 24, was held without bail after being booked for investigation of. murder. As many as four others were being sought for questioning, Los 'Angeles County sheriff's investigators said. Hammer has ties to a iCompton street gang although he is not a member, ; authorities said, declining to ^elaborate. He also has been ' convicted on counts of check $ forgery and commercial bur•, glary. He was set to be arraigned today. : Yetunde Price was shot in . the chest as she sat in a sport ., utility vehicle shortly after i midnight Sunday, about a .' mile from the tennis courts where her younger sisters first rose to prominence. Red Gross needs donations WASHINGTON — As a massive hurricane bears down on the East Coast, the Red Cross is issuing an emergency plea for donations. Hurricane Isabel could come ashore Thursday somewhere between South Carolina and New Jers ey with the Outer Banks of North Carolina near the middle of the expected track. The Red Cross provides shelter, food and other aid after disasters, but the agency reports that its Disaster Relief Fund is nearly empty. Donations can be made by calling 1-800-HELP-NOW, via the Internet at www.red- cross.org, at Coins tar machines, at local Red Cross offices or by sending checks to the American Red Cross, P O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C., 20013. Vehicle rollover ratings released WASHINGTON — The BMW Z4 convertible was the only one of 21 vehicles tested to win the government's highest rating for its ability to resist rollovers, according to test results released Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Ford Explorer Sport Trac sport utility vehicle and a rear-wheel drive version of the Jeep Liberty performed worst, earning two-star rollover ratings on NHTSA's five-star scale. Both the four-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive versions of the Sport Trac were tested. Ford Motor Co. spokeswoman Carolyn Brown said NHTSA's test — 4 which measures rollover ; propensity through a mathematical formula, not a moving test — fails to reflect the f vehicle's performance on the road. NHTSA plans to adopt a moving test this year that will measure the way a vehicle negotiates sharp turns. f Arafat wants to reach truce JERUSALEM — Yasser Arafat wants to reach a truce with Israel, his national security adviser said today, but Israeli officials brushed aside the offer and demanded that the Palestinian Authority „ crack down on militant -'groups. In the West Bank town of Dura, Israeli troops killed an Islamic militant fugitive in an arrest raid, witnesses and military officials said. Such raids have triggered revenge bombings by Islamic militants in the past. Arafat and his designated prime minister, Ahmed Qureia, are not in touch with the Israeli government on a proposed truce, officials said. However, there are high-level contacts between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas on a new cease-fire, said a senior Palestinian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Isabel imminent East Coast residents brace themselves By EMERY R DALESIO Associated Press Writer MANTEO, N.C. —As Hurricane Isabel's more than 100-mph winds swirled toward his coastal home, all Charles Quidley could do was hope that landfall, expected later this week, would be uneventful. "I've seen storms come and go and I've always been thankful to God I've never been hurt," said Quidley, 59. While residents up and down the East Coast scrambled to ready themselves and voluntary evacuations were issued, Quidley, his wife and son, Charles Jr., planned to wait in their mobile home because a motel room on the mainland was just too expenr sive. "It doesn't look good, but not everybody can afford to leave," Quidley said Monday. Forecasters said Isabel appeared to be on a course to hit Thursday on the North Carolina coast and up through the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. Military installations were also taking precautions. In Virginia, 40 ships based in the Norfolk area were ordered to head to sea today to avoid being battered against piers by high winds. Also today, the Air Force planned to fly about 60 planes from Langley Air Force Base in Hampton to Grissom Air Force Base in Indiana, officials said. About 74 F-15E Strike Eagles at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C., were expected to leave today for Tinker AFB in Oklahoma City, the Air Force said. School systems along the North Carolina's barrier islands either planned for only teachers to report to work today or to end their day after serving'lunch. All 921 residents of Ocracoke Island, south of Manteo along the state's vulnerable Outer Banks, were ordered to begin evacuating Monday afternoon. A line quickly formed at the ferry dock. In other islands on the outer banks, residents started boarding windows, moving their vessels inland and checking up on their generators. Kay Burros and Anne Troutman decided it was time to check their 5,000-watt home generator at Surf City. "We've had it about 3 years, but haven't cranked it up in a while. It's been so long, we have to read the instructions," Burros said. Isabel weakened Monday to a Category 3 storm, the National Hurricane Center said. At 5 o'clock this morning, Isabel's fastest sustained wind had Few fishermen braved the high tide and swells generated by Hurricane Isabel in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Monday. At right is a close-up image of the eye of the storm, taken from the international space station. slowed to near 115 mph, down from about 125 mph at 5 p.m. Monday. On Sunday, Isabel's top wind hit 160 mph, making it a Category 5 storm. AP photos Lawsuit alleges connection FBI family: Iraq tied to al-Qaida By JOHN SOLOMON Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON — The Bush administration's claims of ties between Saddam Hussein's regime and al-Qaida terrorists are being tested in federal court where the family of the FBI's late ' counterterrorism chief has sued Iraq over the Sept. 11 suicide hijackings. The wife and children of John O'Neill, who died in the attack on the World Trade Center, allege that Iraq began communicating with al-Qaida as early as 1992, provided training to Osama bin Laden's warriors and sent intelligence agents 1 to work with the terror network in Afghanistan. The suit accuses Iraq of complicity in the Sept. 11 attacks by providing support to terrorists, and seeks $1 billion in damages. The Associated Press reported over the weekend, based on interviews with intelligence officials, that the Bush administration has evidence of contacts between Iraqi intelligence and al- Qaida but no proof of direct Iraqi sponsorship of al-Qaida attacks. The evidence, the sources said, includes statements by. Iraqi defectors and al-Qaida prisoners that Iraqi intelligence provided al-Qaida with training in document forgery and chemical and biological weapons in a series of contacts that spiked in 1996, and again after 1998. In its lawsuit, which was filed quietiy last month in U.S. District Court, the O'Neill family Secretary of State Colin Powell visited Monday with members of the U.S. Air Force's 447th Air Expeditionary Group in Baghdad. {AP photo) says its information was gleaned from documents uncovered in Afghanistan and Iraq as recently as a few months ago, as well as information from interrogations of al-Qaida and Iraqi prisoners. For instance, the lawsuit alleges that bin Laden's top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, visited Baghdad in 1992 and 1998, and that contact between Iraq and al- Qaida increased markedly in 1998, the year die terror network bombed two U.S. embassies in Africa. "Documents recently found in the bombed headquarters of the Mukhabarat, Iraq's intelligence service, reveal that an al-Qaida envoy was invited clandestinely to Baghdad in March 1998," the lawsuit states. "The documents reveal that the purpose of the meeting was to establish a relationship between Baghdad and al-Qaida based on their mutual hatred of American and Saudi Arabia." Bush administration officials declined comment on the O'Neill suit. A recently retired intelligence officer who was friends with O'Neill says he fears the family's suit, contains rumors and hearsay that have not been corroborated by intelligence. "John O'Neill was a true American patriot," former National Security Council official Roger Cressey said. "But given what we know about the alleged Iraq-al Qaida connection, my concern is thai his family is now being taken advantage of." But a family attorney said all the allegations will be proven in court. "We can substantiate through witnesses and documents all the allegations," said attorney Joshua Ambush, who has helped other families in successful lawsuits involving terrorism. The lawsuit says, without citing a source, that two of bin Laden's senior military commanders, Muhammed abu-Islam and Abdullah Qassim, visited Baghdad in April and May 1998 to meet with Qusay Hussein, one of Sad- dam's sons. Rates likely to stay low WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid signs that the economy finally has shaken its lethargy and is perking up, Federal Reserve policy-makers are likely to keep a major short-term interest rate at near rock-bottom levels through the rest of this year and probably into part of next year as well, economists say. The Fed's main lever for influencing economic activity, the federal funds rate, stands at a 45-year low of 1 percent. And commercial banks' prime lending rate, which is affected by changes in the funds rate, is at 4 percent, the lowest level since 1959. The prime rate is the benchmark for many short-term consumer and business loans. Those super-low short- term interest rates, along with President Bush's third round of tax cuts, have helped get the economy's anticipated rebound in the second half of this year off to a good start, economists said. The National Association for Business Economics predicts the economy will grow at a rate of 4.5 percent in the current quarter and at a 4 percent pace in the final quarter of this year. If that bears out, it would mark the economy's strongest back- to-back quarterly growth rates since the final half of 1999. Report: U.S. tops list in school spending By BEN FELLER AP Education Writer WASHINGTON — The United States spends more public and private money on education than other major countries, but its performance doesn't measure up in areas ranging from high-school graduation rates to test scores in math, reading and science, a new report shows. "There are countries which don't get the bang for the bucks, and the U.S. is one of them," said Barry McGaw, education director for the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which produced the annual review of industrialized nations. The United States spent $10,240 per student from elementary school through college in 2000, according to the report. The average was $6,361 among more than 25 nations. Yet the United States finished in the middle of the pack in its 15-year-olds' performance on math, reading and sci- "I think we have become complacent, self-satisfied and often lacking the will to do better." - — Rod Paige, secretary of education ence in 2000, and its high-school graduation rate was below the international average in 2001 — figures highlighted by Education Secretary Rod Paige. The country fared better in reading literacy among fourth-graders, where it finished among the top scorers in 2001. But the declining performance as students grow older served as a warning to the nation, Paige said. "These results highlight an extremely important truth about our educational system: I think we have become complacent, self-satisfied and often lacking the will to do better," Paige said. Appropriate spending has emerged as a key political issue this year as the nation's schools deal with federal reforms. The No Child Left Behind law demands better performance from students and teachers, particularly in low-income districts, but critics say Republican leaders in Congress have spent too little on the effort. The report, released today, sets international benchmarks and identifies areas for improvement. Based on educational level, the report says the United States spends the most on higher education for every student and is a leading spender on primary and secondary education. Paige said the nation must fill the gap between it and other countries, and bridge another between students succeeding in American public schools and those falling behind. Within that promising fourth-grade reading showing in the United States, Paige said, is a revealing number: the higher the percentage of poor students, the lower the average score. "There's no such thing as a 'typical' fourth-grader," Paige said. "We want to go to each fourth-grader. We need to see who needs the help." The new federal law requires states to chart adequate yearly progress — not just for a school's overall population, but for groups such as minorities and students who speak little English. Sanctions grow by the year for schools receiving low-income aid that don't improve enough. Consequences range from letting students transfer to a better school within their districts to handing control of a poor-performing school to the state. "No other country is imposing such a rigorous requirement on its schools," McGaw said.

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