Wednesday, March 10, 1999

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  • Oil and Violence in Colombia

    Rebels from Colombia’s guerrilla group National Liberation Army (ELN) turned over the body yesterday of a French engineer kidnapped in November who apparently died of a heart attack last week while he was being held. Claude Steinmentz was working under contract for oil giant BP-Amoco, and may have died on the same day that three American activists were killed in Northeastern Colombia. Venezuela has said that the bodies of the Americans, Ingrid Washinawatok, Laheena Gay and Terence Freitas, will be flown back to the U.S. today after a few days’ delay. Their bodies were found in Venezuela last Friday close to the border with Colombia.

  • Forty Years of Struggle for Tibetan Autonomy

    On the 40th Anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet, the Dalai Lama said that China lacks the political will to seek a compromise on autonomy for his homeland. Speaking in northern India at an event attended by thousands including the likes of actors Richard Gere and Goldie Hawn, the Dalai Lama said that China’s oppression of his people is growing.

  • Fred Phelps and the Anti-Gay Westboro Baptist Church

    Last night, the Covenant Metropolitan Community Church in Birmingham held a vigil for Billy Jack Gaither, a man who was killed by two acquaintances on February 19 who said they beat him to death and burned his body because he was gay. The two, Steven Eric Mullins and Charles Monroe Butler, were arrested and have been charged with open counts of murder. A grand jury has yet to decide the exact charges. This killing mirrored that of Matthew Sheppard last year in Wyoming. Matthew was beaten, tortured, tied to a post and left to die by two men who said that he had made a pass at them.

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