Copyright 2000 St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Inc.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
May 20, 2000, Saturday, FIVE STAR EDITION
SECTION: NEWS, Pg. 18
LENGTH: 1419 words
HEADLINE: NATION & WORLD BRIEFS
BYLINE: From News Services
Governor vetoes bill repealing death penalty
Gov. Jeanne Shaheen vetoed a bill Friday that would have repealed the death penalty.
The veto, which was expected, came a day after the Senate passed the measure 14-10.
"Our statute is designed to make the carrying out of the death penalty extraordinarily difficult," Shaheen said, citing safeguards that include automatic appeals.
"There are some murders that are so brutal and heinous that the death penalty is the only appropriate penalty," she said.
The Senate vote fell short of the 16 votes needed to override a veto. The 400-member House approved the repeal in March 191-163, also well short of the two-thirds necessary for an override.
New Hampshire's Legislature was just the second to vote to repeal the death penalty since the Supreme Court's 1976 decision. A repeal passed in 1979 by Nebraska lawmakers was vetoed. WASHINGTON House rejects measure to close Army training school
House members favor giving a new life to the Army's School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Ga. The school trains Latin Americans in combat techniques.
On a 214-204 vote Thursday during consideration of a defense bill, the House rejected a measure to shut down the school while alleged human rights violations are investigated.
Instead, the House measure would switch control to the Defense Department from the Army. In addition, a board of academics and members of Congress would monitor the conduct of the 54-year-old school, which would be renamed the Defense Institute for Hemispheric Security Cooperation.
Opponents say the school has trained dictators and those who practiced torture. Supporters of the school said it shouldn't be judged by its bad apples.
"The Unabomber went to Harvard, and we're not talking about closing down Harvard because he committed those atrocities," said Rep. Sonny Callahan, R-Ala. DENVER Colorado governor signs new set of gun bills
Colorado Gov. Bill Owens signed four gun bills Friday, saying that while the new laws might not have prevented the Columbine High School killings, they could have allowed for more charges to be filed.
The new laws make it a felony for a person to buy or obtain a firearm for another person who reasonably should know the transaction is illegal, bar a person from giving a firearm to any juvenile without the consent of the parent or legal guardian, make it illegal for a person not to make reasonable efforts to prevent a juvenile from committing a crime with a handgun and increase the penalty for possession of a weapon by a felon.
But House Minority Leader Ken Gordon, D-Denver, said the bills "do not address the core problem of access to guns by felons and juveniles." Tom Mauser, whose son, Daniel, was killed in the rampage, said: "I think clearly they're more punitive than they are preventative. They're not bad laws, but they aren't as effective as they should be." TAMPA, Fla. Fire destroys two blocks in historic neighborhood
A huge fire in downtown Tampa on Friday destroyed two blocks in the Florida city's historic Ybor City neighborhood and injured three firefighters.
Witnesses said a forklift at an apartment building under construction hit a power line, causing a spark that set the building on fire. The apartment building and a post office across the street were both destroyed, along with several thousand pieces of mail.
Sixty firefighters battled the fire for about three hours before putting it out. Fire officials said it was one of the worst blazes in Tampa history.
Ybor City is named for Martinez Ybor (pronounced E-bor), who started the cigar industry in Tampa in 1885 when he began bringing thousands of workers from his native Cuba to hand roll tobacco into cigars.
The cigar factories have all closed or moved, and the area is now a center for restaurants, bars and nightclubs. It is usually jammed on weekend nights. SAN FRANCISCO Environmentalist quits Sierra Club's board
Pioneering environmentalist David Brower has quit the Sierra Club's board of directors, accusing the group of fiddling while the world burns.
Brower, 87, one of the environmental group's most respected leaders, said Thursday that the organization's officials have lost their zeal.
"The world is burning, and all I hear from them is the music of violins," Brower said. "The planet is being trashed, but the board has no real sense of urgency. We need to try to save the Earth at least as fast as it's being destroyed."
Brower, who joined the club in 1933 and was its first executive director, said the club is not responding to such issues as overpopulation, immigration, mass transit and wilderness preservation.
Brower, who was ousted as a director in 1969, went on to found Friends of the Earth and the League of Conservation Voters. ========== WORLD NETHERLANDS Police arrest one owner of fireworks factory
Dutch police Friday arrested one of the owners of a fireworks factory that exploded last weekend, killing at least 17 people.
The man, identified only as W. Pater, turned himself in late Friday afternoon, regional prosecutor Nienke Zwart said, as 100,000 mourners marched through the town of Enschede in a silent vigil for the victims.
The fireball that ripped through the eastern town on Saturday injured 964 people, destroyed 400 houses and left an entire neighborhood looking like a war zone.
Thursday, prosecutors issued a national and international warrant for Pater and his partner, R. Bakker, on suspicion they had broken regulations for storing fireworks set out in their permit. In line with Dutch law, officials have declined to give the men's first names. YUGOSLAVIA Milosevic vows to defend nation from "enemies"
President Slobodan Milosevic pledged Friday to defend Yugoslavia against "enemies" trying to break up the country, as opposition groups staged more protests demanding an end to a government crackdown.
Milosevic said the government would stand firm "despite joint efforts by Yugoslavia's enemies abroad and at home who are trying to break up the country."
Fearing violence following two days of police attacks on pro-democracy demonstrators, opposition leaders urged more than 5,000 supporters at a rally in Belgrade for restraint and peaceful resistance to the regime.
Vuk Draskovic, a key opposition leader, warned: "No television and no power is worth a single human life. I beg you to understand we can only fight state terrorism by peaceful resistance."
The government on Wednesday took over Belgrade's opposition-run Studio B television and radio, triggering pro-democracy activists to launch protests that have led to several arrests and the injury of more than 150 people in clashes with police. TAIWAN President is sworn in, faces daunting task
Taiwan's new president was sworn in today, taking office under tremendous pressure to smooth out potentially explosive relations with China.
In his raspy voice, Chen Shui-bian faced the red, blue and white flag of the Republic of China, Taiwan's official name, and took the oath of office.
Chen, who at 49 is Taiwan's youngest president, is a former maritime lawyer who became involved in politics by defending democracy activists arrested during the island's repressive martial-law era, which ended in 1987 and gave way to a robust democracy.
The former Taipei mayor's stunning upset in the March 18 presidential election ended the Nationalist Party's five-decade-long control of Taiwan's presidency. He replaces retiring President Lee Teng-hui, Taiwan's first popularly elected leader.
Chen faces the delicate task of smoothing potentially explosive relations with China. SIERRA LEONE Security Council orders more troops into country
The Security Council decided Friday to add 2,000 soldiers to the U.N. force in Sierra Leone, where hundreds of U.N. peacekeepers have been held by rebels for more than two weeks.
As the council considered further moves to reinforce the mission, it unanimously adopted a resolution expanding the 11,100-strong force to 13,000 to allow for troops that India, Bangladesh and Jordan have promised will arrive in the next few days.
Meanwhile, Secretary-General Kofi Annan was preparing to recommend an even greater increase - to as many as 16,500 - to bolster the force as it tries to salvage Sierra Leone's peace process, officials said. GRAPHIC: PHOTO Photo from THE ASSOCIATED PRESS - Chamnan Eung paints figures in the Lam Bi Ni garden at the Vietnamese Buddhist Association of Memphis and Vicinity on Thursday in Memphis, Tenn. In the foreground is Baby Buddha. In commemoration of Buddha's teachings, Ngoc Phuoc Temple will hold its annual Buddha's birthday celebration Sunday.
FBI Most Wanted