Texas Governor George Bush and Arizona Senator John McCain turned their Republican hostilities toward the main event, Super Tuesday, after the Texas governor won the three state primaries to capture the lead in the struggle for the Republican presidential nomination. They traded accusations of divisive, low-road campaigning and posted rival victory forecasts for the climactic tests ahead. Saying he’s not going to rest yet, Bush told ABC’s Good Morning America that candidates like McCain who use name calling and accusations get hurt at the polls.
Vice President Al Gore rebuffed Bill Bradley’s last-chance bid for headway in his faltering challenge before Democratic contests in 15 states next Tuesday that could decide who wins that nomination. Gore won overwhelmingly in Washington State’s primary, gaining no delegates but denying his rival any basis on which to claim a boost in the next round.
With an estimated one million people displaced by Mozambique’s worst floods on record, helicopters and boats tried to save those still trapped today by high waters, while international donors delivered large amounts of emergency supplies. The latest official estimate is that 200 people have died in the floods that have devastated this impoverished southeast African country of Mozambique of 19 million people since the beginning of February. But aid agencies expect the death toll to run into the thousands. Bodies are believed to be trapped inside huts or under water. President Joaquim Chissano today urged the international community to provide more help.
The death toll from two days of riots in southeast Nigeria rose above 400 today as troops patrolled potential flash points to prevent religious and ethnic bloodshed from spreading. Governors in northern Nigeria face the task of explaining to their people why they had agreed to stop pursuing strict Islamic law, the main factor triggering an outbreak of violence that has raised questions over the future of Africa’s most populous nation. Rioting flared in ethnic Ibo and Christian Aba this week, in a backlash to the deaths of hundreds of people in clashes between Muslims and Christians last week in the northern city of Kaduna.
A leading environmental group in Indonesia yesterday slammed former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for urging Indonesia not to review business deals with the giant copper and mining company Freeport-McMoRan Indonesia. The Indonesian Forum for the Environment, known as WALHI, said the statement was a form of intimidation against the Indonesian government, considering that Freeport Indonesia was accused of pollution in Irian Jaya, where the company is based. Emmy Hafild, the head of WALHI, said, “We strongly protest against Kissinger’s statement because it sounds like intimidation. We think his statement is unethical, bullying, and ignores the democratization process now underway in the country.” Kissinger is a member of the board of directors of Freeport-McMoRan’s parent company that’s based in Louisiana, Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold.
Democrats have introduced resolutions in the House and Senate condemning Bob Jones University. That’s the Christian school where Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush spoke before the South Carolina primary. University President Bob Jones III has an essay on the school’s website that describes Roman Catholicism and Mormonism as “cults which call themselves Christian,” and the school bans interracial dating among students. Bush has expressed regret that he did not denounce the school’s ideology at the time of his appearance. Congressional Republicans accused Democrats of partisan politics and vowed to keep the resolutions off the floor. Meanwhile, Reform Party presidential contender Pat Buchanan has come to George W. Bush’s defense, saying he’s being unfairly targeted in a religious war within the Republican Party. The former Republican presidential candidate said Bush has been unfairly criticized for his appearance at Bob Jones University. “Speaking to students does not mean a person accepts the school’s theological beliefs,” Pat Buchanan said.
A scandal-plagued anti-gang unit at the Los Angeles Police Department routinely made up its own rules, with no or little supervision. That’s according to a 362-page LAPD report scheduled to be made public today. According to the Los Angeles Times and Daily News of Los Angeles, the report says there were plenty of red flags indicating corruption and abuses by police, but no one in authority seems to have noticed or dealt with the warning signs. Officers in the anti-gang unit are accused of beating, framing and shooting innocent people. Twenty police officers have been relieved of duty in the scandal. Forty convictions have been overturned due to tainted evidence, and scores of other cases are being reviewed.