Federal investigators hope the release of a threatening letter from the Army of God will help solve three bombings at an abortion clinic, a gay club and last summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. Almost a year after the bomb killed one person and injured more than a hundred at Centennial Olympic Park on July 27, officials said yesterday they’re increasingly certain the attack is related to later bombings at the Atlanta abortion clinic and the gay and lesbian night club. Investigators released detailed composite sketches of two men believed to have been seen outside the abortion clinic, along with a new photo showing a hazy figure sitting on the Olympic Park bench where that bomb was placed.
The FBI has told the families of the 230 people killed on TWA Flight 800 that the investigation is in its final phase and that no evidence has been found that a criminal or a terrorist act was responsible.
Having lost the leading candidate for Joint Chiefs chair to a furor over admitted adultery, Defense Secretary William Cohen is broadening his search for a potential nominee for the top military position. After an agonizing week in which his illustrious Air Force career seemed in jeopardy, Gen. Joseph Ralston took himself out of the running to be the next Joint Chiefs chair yesterday but said he would continue as the vice chair.
On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider its version of a federal juvenile crime bill that would allow children as young as 14 to be incarcerated with adult prisoners. Law enforcement officials will speak out against what they say is an excessively harsh policy that would make the crime problem worse, not better. They will be speaking at a San Francisco press conference tomorrow, which will coincide with the publication of full-page ads critical of the bill in the Washington Times that will read: “Lock up a 13-year-old with murderers, rapists and robbers, and guess what he’ll want to be when he grows up.” Signed by 22 law enforcement officials from across the country, the ad will be distributed tomorrow on Capitol Hill by a group of Washington, D.C., youth to every senator and congressperson. Among those who will be speaking at the news conference, former San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara and San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan.
In New York, a blood drive drew an overflow crowd to a narrow basement hallway in Harlem, where donors said they wanted to honor Malcolm X’s critically burned widow by giving something of themselves. At Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, Betty Shabazz remains in critical condition more than a week after she was severely burned in a fire in her home.
France’s new government, confronted with its first overseas crisis in Brazzaville, Congo, says it will reduce the influence of the old Gaullist covert action networks on French Africa policy. The networks were run by Jacques Foccart, a secretive spymaster who hand-picked leaders in French-speaking Africa and arranged to topple them if they failed to toe his line. He died in March. France supported Zairean dictator Mobutu Sese Seko up to his defeat and ouster last month, leaving it in a compromised position with Laurent Kabila’s new government.
Haitian Prime Minister Rosny Smarth has announced his resignation after months of criticism of his government’s economic policies and failure to address the impoverished nation’s social ills. Smarth’s announcement, made in Parliament, meant that President René Préval will have to appoint a new prime minister, who will then name a new cabinet, all less than a week before a runoff election for seven out of 27 seats in Haiti’s Senate.
And today Congress will vote on an amendment introduced by New York Congress Member José Serrano to keep the U.S. Congress informed about actions committed by U.S. residents against Cuba. Last week on Wednesday night, there was a House floor, by vote, that passed the amendment. Serrano said it’s a historic vote, the first time that the U.S. Congress has approved legislation that sends a message that legislators have a right to be informed about complaints by the Cuban government and to take these into consideration in the making of foreign policy. Serrano’s bill would instruct the State Department to inform Congress every three months about all complaints issued by the Cuban government on actions committed by U.S. residents. These complaints include violations of Cuban air space, dropping of fliers which call for the overthrow of the Cuban government, terrorist acts and other actions.