The two students who launched a murderous rampage on Tuesday were out to destroy the school, this according to the local sheriff of Littleton, a conclusion he reached after investigators found a large homemade bomb fashioned from two propane tanks and a gasoline canister in the kitchen at Columbine High School. The discovery also heightens a growing belief that the two young men had help from others in planning for their attack.
Meanwhile, Colorado legislators have withdrawn two bills long advocated by the gun lobby, while Governor Bill Owens, a Republican, has promised to veto a third. The Mayor of Denver, Willington Webb, is asking the National Rifle Association to cancel its national meeting, scheduled to start in Denver on April 30th. Spurning a projected $18 million dollars in spending by those who attend the meeting, the Mayor said, “We don’t want you here.”
NATO struck the headquarters of Serbia’s state television last night, knocking the country’s main station off the air and killing up to fifteen people. Ambulances rushed to the scene. Reporters saw about a dozen wounded being taken away. The attack came hours after a Russian envoy said Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic had accepted the idea of a UN-controlled international presence in Kosovo. It was unclear if that meant the armed force demanded by NATO, and it appeared to be the same offer Milosevic made to a Belarus delegation last week. In a diplomatic bid to end the conflict, former Russian premier Viktor Chernomyrdin held day-long talks with Milosevic, who was unclear whether the proposed international force would be armed, what guidelines it would operate under, and whether the offer represented a real peace gesture. NATO has insisted it must lead any armed presence in Kosovo to enforce a peace agreement. Milosevic has so far rejected NATO demands to withdraw his troops from the province and accept a Western-dictated autonomy plan for the ethnic Albanian majority there.
And this news from Iraq: US fighter jets flying from an air base in southern Turkey bombed Iraqi air defenses in the northern no-fly zone imposed by only Britain and the United States after being targeted by anti-aircraft fire. This according to the US military. War planes dropped laser-guided bombs on radar and anti-aircraft sites to the east and southeast of the city of Mosul.
This news from Vieques, Puerto Rico: hundreds of funeral-goers on Thursday mourned a man killed mistakenly by jets training in Puerto Rico for Kosovo, a death that has ignited protests against the US military presence. Before the funeral on the island of Vieques, protesters infiltrated the US Navy training ground, where David Sanes Rodriguez was killed, and erected a ten-foot-high white cross on top of a tank used for target practice. Rodriguez was a civilian security guard at the training ground. He died Monday when two US Marine F-18 jets from the USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier dropped five hundred-pound bombs off target and hit an observation post. The jets and aircraft carrier were training for an assignment in the Adriatic Sea to relieve forces fighting in Kosovo.
And at least eight Timorese and possibly as many as 100 have died in attacks by death squads armed and trained by the Indonesian military.
And this news from Geneva: the United Nations main human rights body today condemned Israeli activities in the occupied Arab territories, citing continued violations such as torture of Palestinians. The UN Commission on Human Rights, holding its six-week session, adopted a resolution which slammed Israel for detaining thousands of Palestinians without trial and “the expropriation of Palestinian homes” in East Jerusalem.