The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 25, 2001 · Page 6
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 6

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Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, April 25, 2001
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Page 6
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AB' WEDNESDAY. APRIL 25, 2001 • RUSSIA WORLD THE SALINA JOURNAL U.S. scholar's drug trial opens in Russia Prosecution claims Connecticut student ran drug den in apartment By The Associated Press VORONEZH, Russia — Pale and hollow-cheeked, an American Fulbright scholar accused of dealing drugs in Russia pleaded innocent on Tuesday as his trial opened with the prosecutor contesting police evidence. An investigator testified that she made up the amount of marijuana found on John Tobin for a police re­ port. The prosecutor herself accused police of greatly inflating the amount and said she was "ashamed" to be involved in the case. Tobin, 24, Ridgefield, Conn., was arrested Jan. 26 outside a nightclub after police allegedly found him carrying a matchbox containing marijuana. The arrest attracted wide attention about a month later when the Federal Security Service, the main successor to the KGB, claimed Tobin was an aspiring spy The prosecution maintains that Tobin and his roommate, also an American studying at the universi­ ty ran a drug den in their rented two-room apartment in this provincial city 300 miles south of Moscow. "I never saw anyone in my apartment using drugs," Tobin said from the barred cage in which defendants are confined in Russian courtrooms. Tobin testified that during a search of the apartment, police found a packet of marijuana hidden in a textbook, but the book belonged to his roommate. He said the roommate left Voronezh on vacation a week before his arrest and has not returned. Other testimony Tuesday highlighted confusion and sharp dis­ putes among police and prosecutors over the amount of marijuana allegedly found on Tobin. Police investigator Yelena Bryki- na, who wrote up Tobin's arrest record, said police told her only that Tobin had been found with more than 0.003 oimces of marijuana and that she made up the figure of 0.005 ounces that she wrote in the arrest record. "I just pulled this weight out of the air," she said. However, the charges say that 10- times that amount — 0.05 oimces — was foimd on Tobin when he was arrested. John Tobin sits in tlie defendant's cage during a court session IVIonday In the central Russian town of Voronezh. Tobin, Ridgefield, Conn., is accused of drug possession and other offenses. The Associated Press BRIEFLY Arctic ozone appears recovered •GENEVA — The protective ozone layer over the North Pole appears to have stabilized after years of thinning, but the gain may be temporary U.N. weather experts said Tuesday. Scientists from the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization said the recovery may be attributed to a warmer than usual winter and the current peak in the H-year cycle of the sun and not to global cuts in the use of harmful chemicals. "At the peak of the solar cycle, there's an intensity of radiation that produces more ozone," said Michael Proffitt, a senior scientific officer at the organization. "Therefore you're going to find less sign of ozone depletion." The sun is now moving back into an 11-year period of declining radiation, meaning the production of ozone will be at its lowest in 2006, said Proffitt. Also,'.a return to colder winters would likely cause Arctic ozone levels to fall faster, he said. three American ilostages released NAIROBI, Kenya — Police rescued three U.S. businessmen Tuesday who had been held hostage for several weeks in a residential house in Nairobi, police said. •Police spokesman Dola In- didis said the unidentified AJnericans had been held for "some time" after being lured into a trap by three Nigerians who then demanded a ransom for their release. "There was a business deal between the suspects and the victims, when they (the Americans) came here they fell into a trap," Indidis told The Associated Press. "They were being detained in a residential house hired by the thugs who de- nlanded a ransom for their release." : From Wire Service Reports • SOUTH POLE Weather clears enough to attempt rescue By The Associated Press PUNTA ARENAS, Chile — A small propeller plane fitted with skis for an icy landing flew Tuesday to the South Pole to rescue a sick American doctor, setting out after two days of howling winds and blinding snow eased enough to attempt the harrowing journey to the bottom of the world. Flying into the pitch black of the polar winter, the eight-seat Twin Otter began its 10-hour flight from Rothera base on the Antarctic peninsula across from Chile to the pole. Even with the improved weather, temperatures at the South Pole dipped to minus 76 degrees, or 119 degrees below zero with wind chiU. Forecasters said •v;isibility had improved to five miles with gusting winds and blowing snow. It was the second dramatic rescue attempt in 24 hours: Earlier Tuesday, a New Zealand air force plane successfully evacuated 11 American staffers from a research station on the other side of the frozen continent. Flights to the South Pole are normally halted from late February until November because of the extreme cold and darkness. But health emergencies at the isolated, frigid Antarctic outposts forced rescuers in both operations to make the dangerous flights. Assessment & Treatment for Anxiety ckmhc Central Kansas Mental Health Center Serving the people of Dickinson, Ellsworth, Lincoln, Ottawa & Saline Counties 809 Elmhurst • Salina 823-6322 1-800-794-8281 Don't be left out! Hearing loss is isolating! EARCARE BREAKS THROUGH THE HIGH PRICE BARRIER!! W ITH THE 9 CHANNEL ^^DigiSoundJ^ QUALITY USED CARS BENNETT AUTOPLEX, INC. 651S. 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