The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 2, 2001 · Page 1
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The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page 1

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Saturday, June 2, 2001
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f Sports Final Edition I Phils win fifth straight in rout of Expos - Sports ff -few 4 if 173d Year, No. 2 SATURDAY, JUNE 2, 2001 'www.philly.com 75 cents in aonw locations c A O P M T O outside the metropolitan wee v U U u ll 1 O uicide Blast Kills 17 in Israe Ifef Husband enters plea in N. J. sex tapes case Frank Ripoli Jr. faces 18 years for killing his wife in Medford. The deal was made to spare family from painful evidence. By Joseph A. Gambardello and Jan Hefler INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS Four days before his murder trial was to begin, Frank Ripoli Jr. pleaded guilty to a count of aggravated manslaughter in the shooting death of his wife, Brenda, as she packed to move out of their Medford home in 1999. . Defense lawyers said Ripoli had pleaded to the re duced charge 1 i, i ana prosecutors I . I said they had agreed to it to spare the couple's daughter and Brenda Ripoli's family the pain of a trial during which videotapes and photographs of the victim engaged in allegedly forced sex acts were to be entered as evidence. Ripoli, 46, has been free since posting $400,000 bail 18 months ago and walked out of the Burlington County Courthouse in Mount Holly yesterday after making his plea. The former county health official faces a prison term of 18 years. He would have to serve IS years and four months before being eligible for parole. Superior Court Judge James A. Almeida set sentencing for July 6, but said it could happen sooner if a presen-tencing report was completed quickly. The prosecutor did not object to Ripoli's remaining free until sentencing, noting that he would have been free during the trial, which was expected to last three weeks. The agreement almost fell apart in court when Ripoli said, "I don't remember doing it," after James A. Ron-ca, first deputy county prosecutor, asked whether he had pointed the gun at Brenda Ripoli. Ripoli also hesitated for an unnerving 20 seconds after defense attorney Edward Wiercinski posed a similar question. "I don't remember anything about Frank Ripoli Jr. pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter. See RIPOU on A7 Bucks force Game 7 with Sixers ! j (a mm ; tp . ) - f , ,- "'KjJ -i- - "" ' . v - (71 -A A. . : -n ' r J .r.ii. ! Sdh . JERRY LODRIGUSS Inquirer Staff Photographer Allen Nerson of the Sixers takes an elbow from the Bucks' Scott Williams during Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals in Milwaukee. The Sixers rallied late in the game, but 46 points by Iverson weren't enough in the 1 1 0-1 00 loss last night. Game 7 of the series is tomorrow at the First Union Center. Coverage in Sports, Section D. Nepal's crown prince kills royal family He committed suicide after shooting the king, queen and his siblings, reportedly over a dispute about his choice of a bride. By Binaj Guruacharya ASSOCIATED PRESS KATHMANDU, Nepal Nepal's crown prince opened fire at the royal palace of this small Himalayan nation yesterday, shooting to death his parents the king and queen in an apparent dispute over his choice of a bride, a senior military official said. The prince gunned down six others before killing himself. Crown Prince Dipendra, 29, killed King Birendra, 55, and Queen Aiswarya, 51; his brother, Prince Nira-jan, 22; and his sister, Princess Shruti, 24, the official said. The princess was married and had two daughters. Four others also were killed in the shooting at Narayanhiti Royal Palace, although their identities were not im mediately known. According to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the shooting of the revered royals was prompted by a dispute over the crown prince's marriage because the queen reportedly objected to his choice of a mate. The crown prince, educated at Britain's Eton College, was heir to the throne. A helicopter was sent to Chitwan, 75 miles southwest of Kathmandu, to pick up Prince Gyanendra, the king's See NEPAL on A8 In LA., close race for mayor A Latino candidate who seemed a shoo-in trails in recent polls. A2 Striking workers: No dough Drivers and warehouse workers who supply local Dunkin' Donuts shops air grievances. Bl A little rest for the big night Upper Moreland seniors have the day off before their prom. Other schools let seniors out early. Bl Obituaries Hank Ketchum, 81, who drew the lovable scamp Dennis the Menace for more than five decades. C6 Nkosi Johnson, 12, who was an outspoken advocate for AIDS sufferers in South Africa, a country in which the disease carries a social stigma. C6 i i. ton- v" an O 2001 , Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc. Call 21665-1234 or 1-800-523-9066 tor home deHvery. Pi I nil Their second impression It took time for the public to accept impressionist artists. Saturday reviews, El On the Web News and sports, updated throughout the day. http:inquirer.philly.com Weather Humid, chance of thunderstorm. High 80, low 62. Full report, B3 In Sunday's Inquirer Gino Thompson stepped , into the police wagon an able-bodied man. He emerged paralyzed from the ; waist down. He was the ' victim of a secretive ritual in Philadelphia policing the "nickel ride." In Battered Cargo, a three-part series that begins tomorrow, The Inquirer describes this , decades-old practice and its human and financial toll. Index Comics E6 Lotteries A6 Editorials A4 Obituaries C6 Religion A6 Television E4 Movies E2 Triclassifieds ...B5 For television advertising, it's not exactly prime time Commercial slots usually sell out. Far from it this year. By Sallie Hofmeister LOS ANGKLES TIMES HOLLYWOOD By Memorial Day last year, advertisers had committed to spending a record $8.1 billion for commercials on the prime-time schedules of the six broadcast television networks. What a difference an economic slowdown can make. This year, Memorial Day has come and gone, and most of the major advertisers have yet to commit a dollar. Many have not even started to negotiate with the networks, underscoring how tenuous the economy is. Traditionally, this is harvest time for the networks, the season when they sell commercials for prime-time programs. It begins every May when networks give advertisers sneak previews of their new programs and rejiggered prime-time schedules during lavish ceremonies in New York. The buying spree usually ends by early July, with the networks having sold 75 to 80 percent of their advertising inventory. This year is shaping up to be different. Because of the uncertain economy, Wall Street analysts have been warning that advertisers will spend Jobless Rate Falls Percent of civilian labor force that is unemployed, seasonally adjusted: I ! 3 r PfiriHfifspr: 3.0 ti" "-UiHj . , i f 1.0 p'f'jHi; "-js MJJ ASONO JFMAM Monthly percentage of U.S. workers who are looking tor jobs. Knight Ridder Tribune Unemployment declined slightly last month, but analysts say the good news will be Short-lived. Business, CI less than they did the previous year for the first time in a decade. This has shifted the balance of power from the networks to the advertisers. Most estimates predict at least a 10 percent drop of $800 million in advance prime-time spending this year. See ADS on A8 85 injured outside Tel Aviv nightclub By Nomi Morris and Barbara Demick INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS TEL AVIV, Israel - A suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of a crowd waiting to enter a discotheque in Tel Aviv late yesterday, killing at least 16 other people and wounding at least 85, many of them seriously. "This is one of the worst I've ever seen in 15 years because of the time, the place and the number of casualties," Tel Aviv Police Chief Yossi Sed-bon said. "We do not expect that someone would come and explode himself in front of a nightclub." It was the deadliest terrorist attack in Israel since a string of bus bombings in 1996. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called an emergency meeting of his inner security cabinet for this morning, a rare session on the Jewish sabbath dictated by the emergency. Speculation was rife that he would end a unilateral cease-fire he called 10 days ago. In Washington, President Bush decried "the heinous terrorist attack," and urged Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat to condemn the attack and call for an immediate cease-fire. After the attack, bodies lay in pools of blood, draped with green and white plastic body bags as authorities rushed to remove the dead and treat the injured. Scores of the wounded, many soaked in blood, lay sprawled along the streets of the beachfront area, known for its lively cafes and nightclubs. The windows of several cars were blown out by the blast, and glass and debris littered the sidewalks. The area is especially crowded with partying teenagers on the weekend. The bomber, who was not identified, managed to sneak into a long line of young people trying to get into the Pascha disco about 11:30 p.m., authorities said. "I felt a big bang, and I fell to the ground. I saw bodies lying in the blood," said 16-year-old Natalie Zuber, her mascara smudged by tears as she lay in the emergency room at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital. "When I got up, I saw that my hands were full of blood." An immigrant from Kazakstan, Zuber said the club was crowded with other Russian-speaking teens. Although security guards were inspecting bags at the door, the bomber had sidled up to the crowd waiting to get inside. The hospital's information station was crowded with weeping parents trying to find teenagers who had been to the disco. Inside the emergency room, beds were filled with heavily made-up teenagers decked in evening attire. "We were expecting about 1,500 people this evening. If it had happened half an hour later, it would have been even worse," disco employee Roni Solizky told Israeli reporters. "It was See BOMB on A8 Thomas Jones gets 18 to 37 years in prison By Jacqueline Soteropoulos INQUIRER STAFF WRITER Thomas Jones, whose videotaped beating by Philadelphia police last summer brought global attention to the city, was sentenced yesterday to 18 to 37 years in prison for a string of robberies and carjackings last summer. In a Common Pleas courtroom, in a low voice, Jones said: "I'd just like to say I'm sorry to the citizens of Philadelphia and everybody who was affected by this, and their families as well. "I'm sorry. I'm willing to pay for the crimes I committed, and I'm working every day to change," he said. He occasionally wept during the nearly three-hour hearing. Judge A.J. DeFino declined to fine Jones $360,000, as prosecutors had requested, but ordered him to pay restitution to his victims. Jones is planning See JONES on A6

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