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Making a mid-convention pivot from unity to campaign warfare, the Republicans ramped up their anti-Clinton rhetoric last night as the 2,000 party delegates nominated George W. Bush to the nation’s highest office. Vice-presidential candidate Dick Cheney closed out the evening at the First Union Center with an acceptance speech that rebuked the Clinton and Gore administration time and again. Cheney said on the first hour of the first day he, George W. Bush, will restore decency and integrity to the Oval Office.
President Clinton postponed yesterday the first federal execution in thirty-seven years, so the condemned man can apply for presidential clemency under brand new guidelines. In a two-page order, Clinton issued a temporary reprieve for convicted drug smuggler and murderer, Juan Raul Garza, postponing his scheduled execution from August 5 until December 12.
Under the guidelines, a death row prisoner will receive at least 120 days’ notice of the date of execution. Once notified, the prisoner has thirty days to fill a request for clemency. All papers in support of the request must be filed no later than fifteen days after the petition has been submitted.
From Colombia, using US-donated helicopters to reinforce Colombian police during guerrilla attacks will escalate this country’s prolonged civil war and draw America closer to direct involvement in the fighting, a spokesman for one of Colombia’s rebel groups warned this week. Raul Reyes, spokesman for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, said that helicopters used to rescue police during attacks will be considered military targets subject to being shot down.
This news from Indonesia: Prosecutors today have charged the former dictator Suharto with siphoning off more than $570 million in state funds and plan to take him to court within days. Suharto is accused of using charities under his control to siphon off the money during his thirty-two-year reign. Suharto, who was forced to quit after students and workers took to the streets in May of 1998, has denied any wrongdoing. He has yet to have been held responsible or tried for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Timorese and Indonesians since he came to power in 1965.
A group representing freelance writers, which is seeking to establish the legitimacy of a central clearinghouse through which writers can be paid for the resale of old articles, is close to signing an agreement that would give new stature and visibility to the clearinghouse.
Jonathan Tasini, president of the National Writers Union, and Steven D. Brill, chief executive of Contentville, a new online content distributor, both said yesterday that they had reached an agreement. It is now subject to approval of the union’s executive board. A federal appellate court decision last September in a case brought by Mr. Tasini and the National Writers Union struck down the contention by several publishers, including The New York Times, Newsday and Time, that electronic databases and archives were analogous to collected works.
Al Gore has narrowed his search for a running mate to five members of Congress and a female governor. A Democratic source familiar with the Vice President’s thinking said late last night the closely guarded list consists only of Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt of Missouri, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, and also Governor Jean Shaheen of New Hampshire.
Four years after it led the nation into a deregulation of the electric industry, California is at the brink of a breakdown in its power supply. The nation’s most populous state nearly ran out of power for the third consecutive day this week.
And this news from San Francisco: One man complained he was forced to endure racial epithets; another said he was ordered to do strenuous jobs despite his disabilities; a third had to work during a federal holiday. Seventeen black former employees at a Wonder Bread plant were awarded $120 million in punitive damages yesterday in a racial discrimination lawsuit against the nation’s largest wholesale baker. Interstate Bakeries Corp., the Kansas City-based company that produces Wonder Bread, Twinkies, Home Pride and Hostess cupcakes, said it would appeal the award. The verdict came two days after the same jury found that all twenty-one employees in the suit were subjected to working conditions inferior to those of their white counterparts.