The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas on October 14, 1993 · Page 5
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The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 5

Galveston, Texas
Issue Date:
Thursday, October 14, 1993
Page 5
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Nation Report THURSDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 14,1993 THE GALVESTON DAILY NEWS 5-A NATION BRIEFS Pilot's plight continues - ~ A U ' S - Presidential envoy m Wednesday that Washington wouldn't bargain for captured U.S. pilot Michael Durant, ashis Somali captorV 2g£ te -n to c ? nsider the demand that he be freed at once 1 " 80 " . the former U s ' y. e rmer U.S ambassador to the Horn of Africa nation. OaWey did not SSraiX'/Ji S ' 1rescue , mission to ^ Durant. But he hinted that Jjurant s ordeal was almost over. Somali fighters seized the chief warrant officer after his heli- ?VJf it*! 5 i^ down during a fierce Oct - 3 battle that killed up to 18 U.S. soldiers. Court considers harassment case WASHINGTON (AP>- The Supreme Court tackled the sensitive question Wednesday of when off-color workplace behavior — such as a boss asking a female employee to take coins from hispocket-- becomes illegal sexual harassment. ine sex-harassment case of a Tennessee woman who said her boss harassed her was heard by the first Supreme Court to include two female justices - Sandra Day O'Connor and new te 11 Ginsburg, a former leading women's rights The issue has received heightened attention in recent years partly because of Anita Hill's accusation during Justice Clarence Thomas 1991 confirmation hearing that he harassed her years earlier. Thomas, who strongly denied any such conduct, sat silently during Wednesdays arguments. Sunscreen research released BOSTON (AP) — Doctors have gathered the first direct, scientific proof that using sunscreen really does prevent skin cancer Rubbing on sun-blocking cream has long been recommended as a way to protect the skin from the sun's harmful effects including cancer. But this advice had been based on circumstantial evidence, such as animal experiments. Attorney calls for ouster of white juror in Denny trial Associated Press LOS ANGELES — The fate of deliberations in the Reginald Denny beating trial was thrown into question again Wednesday when defense lawyers asked, for the removal of yet another juror. Attorneys for Damian Williams and Henry Watson asked the judge to remove juror No. 104, a white woman they unsuccessfully had sought to remove during testimony for allegedly aiding the prosecution. Superior Court Judge John Ouderkirk said he would rule Thursday on the motion. He also said he would release sealed transcripts of a closed hearing at which it was decided to dismiss a black woman juror after others on the panel complained she didn't know which end was up. Defense attorneys and some black activists had been angered over the secret nature of the hearing, contending if the public knew what had happened, it would see the judge's reasoning was flawed. The judge said he would release the transcripts Thursday so people "can come to their own conclusions." "Some, I'm sure, will agree and some will disagree," Ouderkirk said. The black woman and one other juror, a white man, were removed earlier this week. Both times, the judge ordered a newly constituted jury to restart deliberations. Three other jurors were removed before the racially sensitive case initially went to the jury Sept. 30. The dismissed jurors were replaced with alternates. Deliberations can be held with 11 jurors if both sides agree. If either side objects, a mistrial is automatically declared. Edi Faal, who represents Williams, insisted his motion had nothing to do with the race of juror No. 104, a white woman who appears to be in her 20s. The last remaining Faal alternate also is a white woman. Jurors' identities are secret. Faal said his objection to juror No. 104 stemmed from her conduct during the trial. During cross- exmination of a witness, Deputy District Attorney Larry Morrison covered the corner of a courtroom video monitor so the witness couldn't see the time recorded on the videotape. But juror No. 104 pointed out to the prosecutor • that the witness was still able to see the time on another monitor in the court. Faal said that showed that the woman was acting more as an advocate than an independent juror. Ouderkirk denied the request to remove the juror. Williams, 20, and Watson, 29, who are black, are accused of crimes against Denny, a white trucker, and other people during the city's 1992 riots. They face up to life in prison if convicted of the most serious charges. On Monday, the judge removed the older black woman from the jury after finding that she was not deliberating. Other jurors complained she lacked common sense and asked that she be removed. Legal scholars called the dismissal highly unusual and possibly grounds for overturning the verdict on appeal. The judge's action angered defense attorneys, who called for a mistrial, which was denied. Before deliberations began, two women were excused for health reasons and one man was dismissed for allegedly talking about the case with friends. The jury currently has four blacks, two whites, two Asian- Americans and four Hispanics. CANCELLED Happy 18th Birthday Juanita Mona Lisa Revels A head injured survivor from December 14, 1986, Juanita is a true inspiration for all head injured children. Many thanks to her mom, brother, sister and grandma for their lota! support and encouragement. Bell-TCI merger signals new age of TV Associated Press NEW YORK — Bell Atlantic Corp. is buying Tele-Communications Inc., the nation's largest cable TV operator, and an affiliate in a mega-deal consummating the "perfect information-age marriage." The merger dramatizes the rapidly changing communications landscape being reshaped to deliver voice, video and computer data through a single connection into the home. "With the combination of cable properties and wire and wireless telephone businesses, we will immediately create one of the world's largest information distribution companies," Bell Atlantic Chairman Raymond W. Smith said Wednesday in announcing the deal. TCI serves about 30,000 cable customers in Galveston County, Preeport and Lake Jackson. Bell Atlantic, a regional phone company, wffl acquire TCI and Liberty Media Corp., also a cable provider, in two phases for a price that could exceed $30 billion. After the merger, Bell Atlantic would have more than 22 million telephone and cable customers in 59 of the top 100 U.S. markets. "Financially, the synergies are terrific," said John C. Malone, TCI's chief executive officer. "The combination of the two enterprises will dramatically increase the cash available right now." TCI is in the middle of a $3.3 billion stock-swap acquisition of Liberty Media, which figures in a battle over Paramount Communications Inc. In the Paramount battle, cable shopping channel QVC and Viacom Inc., another cable operator, have made competing bids for the entertainment company. TCI is backing QVC, and some have questioned what role the merger with Bell Atlantic would have on that deal. Viacom said it raised troubling questions about Malone's power. On Wednesday, the companies showed off Bell Atlantic's prototype Stargazer interactive, multimedia television system. Through Stargazer, subscribers would be able to use their TVs to "travel" through a graphically produced on-screen mall, using a computer mouse-like device. Shoppers could "enter" a record store on the screen, listen to music selections and make purchases — without ever leaving their armchairs. Such technology is seen by many as the future of communications. Bell Atlantic, TCI and Liberty Media hope to be a big part of it. Many had presumed phone companies and cable operators would be opponents in the scramble to offer interactive services. But recent regulatory actions have allowed phone companies to become allies of the cable industry. The sheer size of the Bell Atlan- tic-TCI merger, however, could raise new questions at the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission, which will review the deal. The first part will cost about $21.4 billion, with Bell Atlantic, based in Philadelphia, paying for most TCI and Liberty Media assets with stock and by assuming debt. The second part includes assets facing the greatest regulatory hurdles. They are valued at up to $9 billion, the company said. If both parts of the merger go through, the deal would approach the granddaddy of all corporate takeovers — the 1989 buyout of RJR Nabisco Inc., which cost $30.6 billion in cash and assumed debt. Wall Street seemed pleased with the Bell Atlantic announcement. Bell Atlantic shares closed up $5.87^ at $65.87^ on the New York Stock Exchange. Class A shares of tha Englewood, Colo.-based TCI closed up $3 at $31.3?X. Liberty Media stock finished up $2.62% at $29.25 in Nasdaq trading. Tele*G^^ nc., y Bell ASanSe rjation'9 Safest w ww fcch«fo$£i^ flbtf^cpabjels cfeabiedio alkwpeopfe'a va$t otn^jrdntertairwrtwttand informayon technologies including: hundreds <A «>mp«#'to«; fhbu$ande of mltea away; amwhafr'$r»pdng for anything; two-way sduoatJonai programs, and research access to vast databases. ' iOne of seven 'Baby Bell" regional telephone companies created in the 1984 breakup of AT&T. Based in Philadelphia, serves 6 slates and Washington, D.C. 111992 revenue $12.6 billion' profits $1.4 billion. I! Spending more than $1.5 billion in New Jersey to create first statewide fiber-optics network by 2010. m Won August court ruling in Virginia throwing out a 1984 rule tha! barred telephone companies from offering cable TV programs in same regions where they provide phone service. If ruling holds up it will jeopardize the monopoly cable TV companies enjoy in most places. ^ Tele-Communications Inc. I m Biggest cable TV provider in U.S. % Based in Denver, 10 million cable j subscribers in 49 states, or about 20 i, percent of the market % Iil992 revenue of $3.6 billion and ^ operating profits of $956 million. % III Spending $2 billion to replace % metal-wire TV cables in 300 cities with '% fiber optics to vastly increase amount fy of data carried. fy sSTest'ng a movie-on-demand '% service in Denver with fiber-optic % cable allowing customers to select % from 20 current titles with start-times %. every 15 minutes. % Deal at a glance: m\ Cornplemenlary businesses: Bell Atlantic has expertise in two-way audio technology, but little in video and no programming. TCIhas expertise in sending multiple video signals and offers variety of programming, but has limited experience in two-way communications. Merger combines strengths of both il Financial details: Bell Atlantic would issue 220 million shares o5 new stock and swap it for shares of TCI. Bell Atlantic would also assume about $10 billion in debt &ja Who's In charge: Bell Atlantic chairman Raymond W. Smith would stay chairman; TCI CEO John Malone would be vice chairman. m Paramount takeover: New company coufd become factor in the fight for Paramount, the movie and publishing conglomerate. TCI already on the side of QVC Networks Inc., which bid $9.5 billion, or $2 billion more than Viacom Inc bell Atlantic dwarfs all current players in size. Source: TCI, Bell Atlantic APWm. J. Casiello, Steve Sakson Woolworth announces nationwide store closings, layoffs Associated Press NEW YORK—Woolworth Corp. is slashing 13,000 jobs and closing or redesigning 970 stores, a bold move that will end a century-old dime store tradition in many North American communities. The plan announced Wednesday accelerates Woolworth's transformation from a homespun variety- store chain into an urban-centered specialty retailer. Woolworth Chairman William Lavin blamed the closings on unfavorable economic conditions, increased competition and less consumer spending. The restructuring marks the second time in as many years that Woolworth closed hundreds of unprofitable stores. Woolworth said it will focus on its profitable Foot Locker stores and expand its World Foot Locker athletic chain, RX Place deep-discount drug stores and the Northern Reflections women's apparel stores. Some 250 of the 970 targeted stores will be reconfigured into these and other more profitable formats. The rest will be closed. In Canada, about 100 Woolworth stores will be converted to the popular The Bargain Shop concept introduced in 1991. All told, about 10,000 jobs in the United States will be eliminated and 3,000 in Canada — about 9 percent of Woolworth's total work force. Woolworth has been tinkering with its store mix for nearly a decade. Last year, it began closing hundreds of money-losing U.S. outlets. Most were old-fashioned five- and-dime stores that had anchored many a Main Street since the company's founding 114 years ago. Dime stores became increasingly unprofitable as customers gravitated toward discount superstores like Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target. Indeed, the stores Woolworth is closing — including about 400 five- and-dimes — incurred $36 million, in operating losses during the first six months of the year while contributing about 9 percent toward total revenues of $4.42 billion. "We're focusing on Woolworth stores in core urban markets," said spokeswoman Frances Trachter. "As general merchandisers, that's where the concept is most viable. 1 ' In busy cities there's virtually no competition from big discount chains, which prefer suburban locations for mega-sized stores with huge inventories and massive parking lots. "People don't have time to shop at inefficient stores," said Sid Doolittle, a principal with McMillan- Doolittle, a Chicago retail consulting firm. The variety store is a slowly dying dinosaur." Woolworth also is closing 330 specialty stores, namely its Kinney and Footquarters shoe stores. Some Kinney stores are slated for remodeling, which will include updated, more fashionable goods, more brand names and a greater focus on women's merchandise. Earlier this year Woolworth said it would spend nearly $400 million to develop more specialty store formats. Its plans to open about 600 stores in 1994 — including some reconfigured stores — remain intact. The restructuring wfli result in a third-quarter charge of $480 million, or $3.66 a share. Lavin said third-quarter earnings would be well below the $65 million, or 50 cents a share, earned in the 1992 third quarter. FULLEN INTERNATIONAL JEWELRY OUTLET DISCOUNT LIQUOR - BEER & WINE 765-6822 - OPEN 'Til 8 P.M. - 2203 - 45ih STREET CASH & CARRY SPECIALS GOOD THORS. & FRI. ONIY BOURBON v.o. 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