The Record from Hackensack, New Jersey on September 28, 2000 · 7
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The Record from Hackensack, New Jersey · 7

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Hackensack, New Jersey
Issue Date:
Thursday, September 28, 2000
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7
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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2000 NEW YORK THE RECORD A-7 Woman whose Cuban son was denied visa dies The Associated Press ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. A 70-year-old woman denied her wish to have her son visit her from Cuba died of cancer Wednesday at a Long Island hospital. Bersabe Febles, who fled Cuba in 1968, leaving behind her then 15-year-old son, Jorge Febles Sanchez, died at Mercy Medical Center, said hospital spokeswoman Regina Brancato. Febles' family said U.S. officials refused to grant Sanchez a visa to see his dying mother because they believed he would try to stay here illegally. It was unclear why a visa was not granted on a humanitarian basis, which is not unusual for Cubans with family in the United States. U.S. officials granted permission Wednesday for Sanchez to attend his mother's funeral, said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. "It's a tragedy that he didn't get to see his dying mother," said Schumer, who had tried to help the family and blamed the delay on the slow-moving bureaucracy at the Immigration and Naturalization Service. "We're grateful that they're now moving quickly to allow him to come to the funeral," Schumer said. "But when it's clear that someone is dying, that there's a clear urgency, they ought to use the same type of speed." He said the INS should have a system in place to handle emergencies like the Febles case. Officials at the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Interests Section in the Cuban capital, Havana, declined to discuss the case. Schumer said officials were trying to find Sanchez in Cuba to deliver the news. There was no immediate word on funeral arrangements. City set to tackle backlog of thousands of rape cases By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS The Associated Press NEW YORK - Trying to clear thousands of unsolved rapes, the city announced Wednesday that it has contracted with three DNA labs to analyze evidence before the statute of limitations on the crimes expires. The city has a backlog of about 16,000 "rape kits" biological evidence collected from victims after sexual assaults. About half of rmiQ)Sm u(p . dill S IMMiiifnn! ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' sale 12.99 warners- i - v j sale 12.99 warmers Supercross'" in white, black i IE ' -i Shine On Contour in white, beige or beige. 34-36A-C; 38B.C. 1035. j V or black. 34-38A-C. 1221. -X jb ' ! I " ' " y' .y . '''. : ;'n I k ' -;' s" ' 4- ';v Xs' ) sale 12.99 olga Simply Perfect'" underwire in antique ivory, black or white. 34-36A-D; 38B-D. 33032. Reg. 26.50 Shown left: Naked Cotton underwire in white or creme. 34-36B-D. 2591. Reg. $24 Matching panty. S-L. 396. 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"This initiative will enable us to make a significant investment in making the city safer for the city's women," Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson said at a news conference. "This DNA testing of the backlog combined with the data bank that's being assembled in Albany will allow the district attorneys to make cases and prosecute people who had for years eluded capture and evaded punishment." Both Johnson and Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgen-thau pointed out that the analysis could also clear some men who have been wrongly convicted of rape or other crimes. "It works both ways," said Mor-genthau. "It exonerates the innocent, convicts the guilty." Tests on the rape kits will be performed first for rapes that occurred within the state's five-year statute of limitations for prosecuting sex crimes. Rape kits for crimes that can no longer be prosecuted will be analyzed anyway, said Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik. But of the 16,000 rape kits that need analysis, the three contracts cover testing for only 12,000 of the rapes. The rest, some dating to the early 1990s, will be analyzed later, city officials said. Once analyzed, the DNA from the kits will be stored in city, state, and federal data banks and compared with genetic material from convicted offenders, as well as DNA from unsolved cases and missing persons. A 1999 state law also requires those convicted of violent felonies, including sex crimes, to provide DNA samples for the data bank. Opponents of DNA testing say the process violates the civil rights of individuals, but Harriet Lissel, executive director of the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assaults, said the tests are an important tool. "Rape victims who have been raped by strangers who have not been caught lack a sense of closure to the incident," she said. "They continue to feel unsafe and fearful because rapists often tell them that they will come back to harm them as a way to keep them quiet. . . . DNA testing gives them new hope." There were 2,087 rapes reported in the city in 1999. An effort to do away with the five-year statute of limitations on sex crimes died in the state Assembly last year. Boy Scouts lose more local funding The Associated Press WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - The United Way of Westchester and Putnam counties will end its support of traditional Boy Scout programs after this year because the Scouts bar avowed homosexuals from serving as troop leaders. "This is huge, and we have programs at risk," said Thomas Hasten, president of the Westchester-Putnam Boy Scout Council. The local charity joins a growing number of organizations reacting to a Supreme Court ruling in June that upheld the Scouts' policy. On Tuesday night, the board of Community School District 2 in Manhattan passed a resolution banning its schools from sponsoring Boy Scout troops. Several companies also have dropped financial support, some before the court ruled. The United Way decision will cost the Westchester-Putnam Boy Scout Council $150,000 a year, 7 percent of its budget. The charity's local president, Ralph Gregory, told the editorial board of The Journal News on Tuesday that "It was extremely important for us to be able to say that all our donor dollars go to programs that are consistent with inclusiveness." He said the charity would accept applications for funding from a Scout subsidiary called Learning for Life, which admits boys and girls and does not ban gays. Said Kasten: "Are they satisfied that the bulk of the people who give to the United Way are willing to throw out the proven success of the Boy Scout program because we have a standard that will not allow an avowed homosexual to take 10-year-olds camping?" NEW CARPET & LAMINATE FLOORING AT LOW, LOW PRICES FREE Shop at Home Service AT HOMI CARPIT 1.SS8-369-RUGS 2

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