|Appalachian School of Law Shootings|
Wed, 16 Jan 2002
A struggling Nigerian law school student went on a campus shooting spree Wednesday, killing the dean, a professor and a student before he was tackled by students, authorities said.
The attack also wounded three students at the Appalachian School of Law. Two were in surgery Wednesday evening and the third was listed in fair condition.
“When I got there there were bodies laying everywhere,” said Dr. Jack Briggs, who was one of the first to arrive after the shooting in this tiny mountain community in western Virginia.
Dean L. Anthony Sutin and Professor Thomas Blackwell were gunned down in their offices, according to school officials. Police said the third person slain was student Angela Dales, 33.
The 42-year-old suspect, Peter Odighizuwa, had arrived at school to meet with the dean about his academic suspension, which went into effect Wednesday, State Police spokesman Mike Stater said.
Alleged shoe bomber accused of being trained al-Qaida terrorist
BOSTON (AP) - The airline passenger accused of trying to ignite explosives in his shoes was indicted Wednesday on charges of being an al-Qaida-trained terrorist whose goal was to blow up the plane and kill the nearly 200 people aboard.
Richard Reid, a 28-year-old British citizen and convert to Islam, could get five life sentences if convicted.
The indictment, issued by a federal grand jury in Boston, alleges Reid attempted to kill the 197 passengers and crew aboard a Paris-to-Miami American Airlines flight Dec. 22 before he was tackled and the jetliner was diverted to Boston.
Reid did “attempt to use a weapon of mass destruction … consisting of an explosive bomb placed in each of his shoes,” the indictment said
The indictment said Reid “received training from al-Qaida in Afghanistan.”
Three former SLA members arrested in deadly 1975 bank robbery near Sacramento
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Five former members of the Symbionese Liberation Army, including former fugitive Sara Jane Olson, were charged Wednesday in connection with a deadly bank robbery carried out 27 years ago.
Three of the former members of the SLA, the 1970s radical group that kidnapped newspaper heiress Patty Hearst, were taken into custody at their homes, authorities said. Olson, known as Kathleen Soliah at the time of the robbery, was expected to turn herself in later Wednesday in Los Angeles. The fifth suspect remained at large.
Olson, Emily Harris, ex-husband Bill Harris, Mike Bortin and James Kilgore were charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of a bank customer during a 1975 holdup in the suburb of Carmichael, authorities said.
Emily Harris was arrested at her home in Los Angeles, her ex-husband was taken into custody in Oakland, and Bortin was arrested in Portland, Ore. Kilgore has remained at large since the 1970s.
“Now is the time to seek justice for Myrna Opsahl,” the woman slain during the robbery, Sacramento District Attorney Jan Scully said. Arraignments were scheduled Friday.
Fired auditor knew back in August that Enron whistleblower was warning people about accounting practices
WASHINGTON (AP) - A senior auditor questioned Wednesday in the Enron affair knew back in August that a company whistle-blower was warning about the energy giant’s financial practices that eventually led it into bankruptcy, congressional investigators said.
The whistle-blower, Enron executive Sherron Watkins, told a friend and former colleague at the Arthur Andersen accounting firm about her concerns, which focused on outside partnerships used by Enron executives to keep hundreds of millions of dollars off the company’s books.
A hurried meeting took place Aug. 21 and Andersen’s chief auditor for the Enron account, David Duncan, participated. The Arthur Andersen meeting took place the day before Watkins detailed her concerns in a meeting with Enron Chairman Ken Lay.
“It’s now clear to us that key players at Andersen as well as Enron knew of the growing problems months before the company imploded,” said Ken Johnson, spokesman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Committee investigators questioned Duncan for several hours Wednesday in what Republican and Democratic committee staffers said was a valuable information-gathering session provided many leads to investigators.
U.S. believes al-Qaida not yet able to produce chemical or biological weapons
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. officials have tentatively concluded Osama bin Laden’s terrorist group, al-Qaida, had not developed the means to produce chemical, biological or radiological weapons at the time the United States began bombing Afghanistan in October.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Wednesday that weeks of searching more than 40 sites in Afghanistan yielded diagrams, materials and reports that indicated “an appetite for weapons of mass destruction.”
“In terms of having hard evidence of actual possession of weapons of mass destruction, I do not have that at this stage,” he told a Pentagon news conference.
Of 50 suspected al-Qaida sites identified so far, 45 have been thoroughly examined, officials said.
Rumsfeld said there may yet be an exception to his statement that no terror weapons have been found. He said he had been shown photos of canisters found recently at a former al-Qaida site in Afghanistan which could contain chemical agents. Their contents have yet to be examined, he said.
AIDS overwhelms vaccine protection in Harvard monkey study
By The Associated Press
In a study that illustrates how cunning a foe AIDS is, a monkey that was given an experimental AIDS vaccine died after the virus changed just one of its genes.
HIV, which causes AIDS, already is known to mutate and grow impervious to standard AIDS drugs in at least half of all Americans being treated for the infection.
Now researchers have seen a similar outcome with an experimental vaccine that tries to stop the virus from multiplying. The mutation occurred in one of eight vaccinated rhesus monkeys in a Harvard experiment.
The findings were published in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature.
Scientists who reviewed the results described the monkey’s death as “more disappointing than surprising.”
It does not mean that AIDS vaccines are doomed to fail, they said, but illustrates how the virus will not be easily defeated or even contained anytime soon.
Kmart stock sinks to under $2 amid bankruptcy speculation
DETROIT (AP) - Shares of Kmart Corp. stock dropped below $2 Wednesday as credit agencies cut its debt ratings amid speculation the discount retailer is considering filing for bankruptcy.
Kmart has been struggling to compete against the lower prices of rivals Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp., battling the nationwide recession while mounting its aggressive restructuring effort.
In a news release announcing ratings downgrades, Fitch Inc. said it appears increasingly likely Kmart will choose to file for bankruptcy.
Sources close to the company, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the possibility of filing for Chapter 11 was discussed at a regularly scheduled meeting of Kmart’s board of directors this week. So far, the company has remained silent on its financial future.
Robin Williams turns menacing in somber thriller ‘One Hour Photo’
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) - Robin Williams has provided some of the darkest and lightest moments at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
First, he menaced the crowds with “One Hour Photo,” a grim story in which he plays a joyless photo clerk who dangerously fixates on a family. Then, Williams had people rolling in the aisles as he turned a question-and-answer session on the movie into an impromptu standup routine.
“This was a bizarre, creepy movie. Now coming up and making people laugh, it’s like being an emotional sorbet,” Williams said after the movie’s premiere last weekend.
Williams cracked wise on why he chose such a dark role (“Because Mr. Rogers On Ice was already taken”), on his character’s fuzzy blondish hair (“They cut my hair with a Roto-Rooter”), on security for upcoming Winter Olympics events around Park City (anthrax-antsy guards shouting, “There’s white powder everywhere!” then being told, “It’s snow, sir”).
Best-known for sympathetic, lovable characters in such films as “Good Will Hunting” and “Dead Poets Society,” Williams has three movies coming out this year in which he plays the heavy. Preceding “One Hour Photo,” which opens this fall, Williams plays a murder suspect opposite Al Pacino in “Insomnia” and a former children’s show host gunning for revenge against the man who replaced him in the black comedy “Death to Smoochy,” directed by Danny DeVito.
Sackmaster Strahan beats Urlacher for Defensive Player honors
By The Associated Press
The sack has become the most glorified defensive play in the NFL, a major reason why Michael Strahan is The Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year.
Strahan, who set an NFL record with 22 1/2 sacks for the New York Giants, earned a seven-vote margin over Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher in balloting announced Wednesday.
“Only seven,” Strahan said with a huge smile that showed off his famous gap-tooth look. “I’m disappointed, but I’ll take it.”
Nothing was disappointing about the defensive end’s performance this season.
Strahan, one of the league’s most popular players for his outgoing, entertaining yet humble manner, always has been a fearsome pass rusher. He was a force against the run this season, too, and, with linebacker Jessie Armstead and the rest of New York’s defense plagued by inconsistency, Strahan was Mr. Reliable.
So much so that he was a unanimous choice to the AP All-Pro team last week.
“I don’t try to make every play perfect, I just try to make sure every play counts,” Strahan said, “because you never know which plays are going to count in a game.