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News Briefs

October 26, 1995
Web posted at: 1 a.m. EDT

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton kicks off baby safety campaign

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton joined the chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Wednesday in launching a National Baby Safety Campaign.

The consumer group said that more children die from unintentional injuries than from any childhood disease. They also offered a few safety tips for the home:

Mrs. Clinton also criticized GOP plans to cut the growth in Medicare, saying that it would remove a safety net for families in need. (247K AIFF sound or 247K WAV sound)

FBI, CIA target terrorist threats to Atlanta Olympics

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FBI and CIA on Wednesday disclosed that they are actively involved in a massive security plan designed to foil any attempts by terrorists to disrupt next summer's Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick told a Senate panel that the FBI and CIA have agreed that the FBI will take the lead in the counter-terrorism effort because perceived threats come from domestic as well as overseas groups. Gorelick and CIA General Counsel Jeffrey Smith refused to discuss specific potential threats, but Smith told reporters the CIA is involved in efforts to penetrate Hezbollah and other organizations which may want to disrupt the Atlanta Olympics. (145K AIFF sound or 145K WAV sound)

Counter-terrorism experts say an Olympics is an especially inviting target for terrorists because it offers an opportunity to seize the world stage to publicize their political cause. A summer Olympics, because of the presence of delegations from every corner of the globe, is especially alluring to groups who want to reach a world-wide audience.

Government counter-terrorism experts say that point was tragically driven home in 1972 when Israeli athletes were slain by terrorists at the Munich Olympics.

Whitewater panel

Republicans to issue Whitewater subpoenas

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Suggesting the possibility of a wide-ranging cover-up, Republicans on the Senate Whitewater Committee are getting ready to serve subpoenas on the Clinton administration.

GOP lawmakers say that they're angry about the Treasury Department shredding duplicates of Whitewater-related documents, even though the original documents remain intact.

Committee Chairman Alfonse D'Amato criticized the administration for waiting months to hand over telephone records. D'Amato said that those records include information about calls made by first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton shortly after the suicide of Deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster.

Goldman family

Goldmans don't want Simpson's property returned

LOS ANGELES (CNN) - An attorney for the family of Ronald Goldman filed court papers seeking to prevent O.J. Simpson from recovering personal property seized during the investigation of the murders of Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.

The items, according to Goldman attorney Daniel Petrocelli, may be used as evidence during the civil wrongful death suits against Simpson and should remain in court custody. Petrocelli said the items should be preserved to prevent them from being "contaminated, corrupted, or concealed, lost, damaged, or stolen, bought, sold or transferred."

Judge Lance Ito will hear arguments from Simpson's attorneys on October 31 requesting a court order to have the items returned.

Hundreds of items, including everything from credit cards to underwear, remain in the custody of the court, the Los Angeles Police Department and prosecutors. Simpson's attorneys maintain that the items should be returned in light of his acquittal.

Jury deliberates on fate of Selena's killer

HOUSTON, Texas (CNN) -- A defense attorney for Yolanda Saldivar, convicted of killing Tejano music star Selena, said Wednesday that she should be given probation because she had already "suffered greatly."

The 35-year-old Saldivar was found guilty of first-degree murder Monday by the same jury. She was convicted of the March 31 shooting death of 23-year-old Selena Quintanilla Perez in a Corpus Christi motel room.

The defense had argued that Saldivar's revolver had fired accidentally. The prosecution argued that the shooting was deliberate.

sketch of Saldivar

The prosecutor in the sentencing phase of the trial asked the jury to "send a strong message" and give Saldivar the maximum possible sentence.

Under Texas law, if Saldivar is given life, she must serve 30 years before being eligible for parole. For any sentence less than life, Saldivar would have to serve half the sentence before becoming eligible for parole. Sentences of 10 years or less can be probated. Saldivar has no prior criminal record.

The jury adjourned to begin deliberating the sentence following a sentencing hearing in which nine witnesses were called. After deliberating for a half hour, the jurors asked to be read testimony from a cardiologist who tried to keep Selena alive following the shooting. However, Judge Mike Westergren refused, telling the jurors to rely on their memories.

The jury deliberated all afternoon without reaching a verdict. They were sequestered overnight and will resume Thursday morning.

Abortion protesters ordered to pay couple $8.65 million

DALLAS, Texas (CNN) -- Abortion protesters have been ordered by a federal court to pay a doctor and his wife $8.65 million. Dr. Norman Tompkins and his wife, Carolyn, were awarded $3.6 million in punitive damages and $2.25 million for intentional infliction of emotional distress and $2.8 million for invasion of privacy.

Tompkins said that his medical practice and privacy were destroyed by repeated picketing at his office, the hospital where he was on call, church, home and his wife's workplace. The couple said that they received numerous threatening phone calls and mail. The Tompkins say they were followed when they left their home.

Three organizations, including Operation Rescue, and 10 individuals must pay the damages to the Dallas couple. "We don't have that kind of money," said the Rev. Flip Benham, director of Operation Rescue. "They can take everything we have, but the gospel will not change."

Attorney Windle Turley, who represents the Tompkins, says that his clients will most likely never see the money from the suit, but the message was the important issue.

Louisiana factory

Toxic gas neutralized; Louisiana evacuation ends

BOGALUSA, Louisiana (CNN) - As many as 4,000 residents of Bogalusa were returning home Wednesday morning after officials completed a 24-hour process of neutralizing poisonous gas that had spilled from a ruptured rail tank car. "We were able to completely pump enough chemicals in there to make it safe," Sgt. Wayne Winkler of the Louisiana State Police told CNN.

The tank car ruptured Monday afternoon, injuring several maintenance workers who were repairing the it. Some firefighters initially called to the Gaylord Chemical Corp. paper mill, where the rail car was sitting on a track, also were hurt. Investigators will now attempt to determine how much of the dangerous nitrogen tetroxide was in the tanker car and exactly what led to the incident, Winkler said.

STS-73 mission patch

Playing ball in space

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (CNN) -- Astronauts on space shuttle Columbia took a short break Wednesday, giving the crew leader a chance to play ball. A videotape of Commander Kenneth Bowersox throwing out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 5 of the World Series will be shown before Thursday's televised Game 5. The Atlanta Braves lead the Cleveland Indians two games to one, with Game 4 to be played Wednesday. It took Bowersox and his crew seven times to get the brief videotape segment right -- as many tries as it took for them to blast off.

The astronauts report all is going well on the sixth day of the 16-day laboratory-research mission. One of the space experiments -- a spinning steel ball in silicone oil -- could lead to a better understanding of atmospheric flows on Earth and other planets. The experiment simulates planetary conditions by using the baseball-sized sphere as a mock planet and the oil as an atmosphere.

Budget airline MarkAir goes bust

DENVER, Colorado (CNN) Anyone with a ticket to fly on MarkAir needs to make other plans. The budget airline, hampered by money troubles in recent years, stopped flying Tuesday, leaving some passengers stranded (128K AIFF sound or 128K WAV sound). Four of MarkAir's six planes recently were reclaimed by leasing companies for non-payment, according to the airline's president, Jeff Carter.

Denver-based MarkAir also served Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, San Diego and Seattle. The move does not affect MarkAir Express, the company's cargo and commuter airline subsidiary that operates out of Alaska.

News the company had ceased operations broke via the carrier's telephone reservation line (128K AIFF sound or 128K WAV sound). MarkAir had been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy since April. The company said it would convert the bankruptcy to a Chapter 7, which would allow it to liquidate its assets.


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