|Appalachian School of Law Shootings|
Thu, 17 Jan 2002
(Kabul, Afghanistan-AP)—Secretary of State Colin Powell pledges the U-S will support Afghanistan now and in the future.
He’s on a quick visit to Afghanistan before going to India. His movements are being kept secret for security reasons.
In Kabul today, Powell met with Afghanistan’s interim president Hamid Karzai (HAH’-mihd KAHR’-zeye) and declared, We will be with you in this current crisis and in the future.”
He said the U-S will be making a substantial financial commitment at next week’s Afghan donor conference in Tokyo and will help make sure Afghanistan is never again used as a launch-pad for terrorism.
Powell is also thanking Afghan employees of the U-S Embassy, who protected the site during the years the U-S was not there.
(Pentagon-AP)—The U-S military hasn’t given up the search for the elusive Osama bin Laden or for evidence linking his network to weapons of mass destruction.
Defense officials say, so far, there’s no proof the terrorists were able to possess chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. A search of some 45 of 50 suspected sites has found nothing conclusive.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday did mention some suspicious canisters that might have contained chemical weapons. But later, defense officials cast doubt on that, saying they’re believed to be innocuous. But the hunt for further proof continues, as does the chase for bin Laden.
Rumsfeld says the U-S military is operating on the basis that bin Laden remains in Afghanistan. And the defense secretary still insists the terrorist leader eventually will be found.
(Boston-AP)—The government says Richard Reid trained with al-Qaida terrorists in Afghanistan, and he could get five life terms in prison.
A new federal indictment accuses the British citizen of trying to blow up a plane by lighting explosives in his shoes. His lawyer notes he’s not accused of trying to further the cause of any terrorist organization.
Investigators say Reid’s travels match those of an al-Qaida operative listed on a computer obtained in Afghanistan by The Wall Street Journal.
And a U-S military official said Reid has been linked to an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan by a detainee at the U-S naval base in Cuba.
(Jerusalem-AP)—The blockade is back.
Israel has blocked off four West Bank cities today, after more Palestinian shooting attacks. Palestinian gunmen have killed three civilians in the past three days.
The Israeli Security Cabinet agreed on the action early today.
A bomb blast Monday killed a Palestinian militia leader. The Palestinians say it was an Israeli assassination.
Palestinian security officials say a Palestinian militia member was killed early today in a clash with Israeli soldiers outside the town of Nablus.
Israeli police say a Palestinian doctor was gunned down yesterday by fellow Palestinians who mistook him for a Jew because he was driving a car with Israeli license plates. Two other civilians were killed Tuesday.
(White House-AP)—President Bush is pitching his energy plan today in a visit to Teamsters headquarters in Washington.
The big union was a key Bush ally in last year’s House passage of the plan—and the president’s hoping the Teamsters can help convince Senators to go along this year.
The union visit is part of the build-up to Bush’s State of the Union speech, in which energy policy is expected to play a prominent role. The president argues America urgently needs to reduce its dependence on foreign oil, and his plan would do just that. It emphasizes developing domestic sources of energy.
But environmentalists say Bush is giving short-shrift to conservation. And they especially don’t like his plan to allow drilling in the Alaskan Arctic.
Teamsters officials see that drilling as a source of jobs.
(Washington-AP)—Republicans and Democrats are sharpening their contrasting views of the economy as they begin planning for this fall’s elections.
Both parties are beginning their three-day winter meetings today. The Democrats are meeting in Washington. The Republicans are convening in the capital of President Bush’s home state, Texas.
Democrats are hoping to build on their victories this past November, with an eye toward retaking control of the House.
The Republicans will be looking for ways to win back control of the U-S Senate while increasing their grip on the House. The G-O-P is stepping up efforts to broaden the party’s appeal among Hispanics and improve turnout of grassroots voters.
The challenge for Democrats is how to expand their appeal to rural voters and retain their core minority and women voters.
(Grundy, Virginia-AP)—Violence at a western Virginia law school has left the dean and two other people dead.
Yesterday’s shootings at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, have stunned the community.
Investigators say suspect, Peter Odighizuwa (ah di-guh-ZOO’-muh), went to the school to discuss his academic dismissal. Officials say he met a professor, asked him to pray for him, then went to the offices of the dean and another professor and shot them.
Witnesses say the student then went to a common area, opening fire on a crowd of students, killing one and seriously wounding three others.
The suspect is a naturalized U-S citizen from Nigeria who had flunked out last year but been allowed to return this year.
A spokeswoman for Virginia’s governor says the suspect had a history of mental instability and says school officials knew about it.
(Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba-AP)—A Marine commander at the U-S navy base in Cuba says some of the latest arriving Afghan war prisoners have made death threats.
Brigadier General Michael Lehnert says several of the detainees have publicly stated their intent to kill an American before leaving Guantanamo Bay.
Heavily armed Marines met the latest group of 30 Taliban and al-Qaida war prisoners yesterday, bringing to 80 the number being detained. Thirty more are due to arrive today.
There’s been some criticism of the treatment of the prisoners and a team from the international Red Cross is to inspect conditions at the camp today. Amnesty International says keeping detainees in cages falls below minimum standards for humane treatment.” The group says the six-by-eight-foot cells are smaller than considered acceptable for ordinary prisoners.
The U-S says the Afghan detainees are not ordinary. As General Lehnert puts it, These are not nice people.”
(Washington-AP)—Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is putting a new emphasis on security and privacy in the company’s operating systems and software applications.
The Associated Press has obtained e-mail to Microsoft employees in which Gates calls the new philosophy, Trustworthy Computing.” He says his highest priority is ensuring computer users can use the Internet without fear of getting hacked.
The announcement follows revelations of serious security flaws in the Windows X-P operating system unveiled last autumn and previous security holes in Microsoft applications.
Industry watchers are praising the move. Analyst David Smith says it may be overdue.
Gates’ message to employees says new software features will have to take a backseat to resolving security issues.
(Maryland City, Maryland-AP)—Fire officials say people who thought they were buying kerosene at a gas station in Maryland got gasoline instead.
A delivery of gasoline was mistakenly substituted for kerosene at a Citgo station in Maryland City, outside Baltimore.
Fire officials say anybody who bought what they thought was kerosene at the station this week should check the fuel carefully before using it. Using gasoline in devices like kerosene heaters can cause an explosion.