Former President Clinton disclosed that two felons to whom he granted clemency on his last day in office paid large legal fees to his brother-in-law. Clinton said he told Hugh Rodham, brother of former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, to return the money to the felons. The amount of money was not immediately disclosed, but CNN reported it was a total of about $400,000. One of two congressional committees already investigating Clinton pardons, particularly the one he gave to fugitive billionaire Marc Rich, promptly announced plans to examine the transactions. Not to belabor the point, but Native American leader Leonard Peltier, who’s remained in prison now for 25 years, did not hire relatives of Clinton to plead for executive clemency.
Most of the bombs dropped by U.S. warplanes on Iraqi radar stations during last week’s airstrikes missed their mark, said Pentagon officials, with most of the misses blamed on a new and expensive Navy guided bomb. A Navy official said about 25 of the guided bombs, which were first used in combat two years ago, were dropped in the attack, and the majority fell “tens of yards” from their targets. Another official said he had been told the bombs missed by an average of more than 100 yards. Pentagon officials’ assessment of Friday’s airstrikes against the Iraqi anti-aircraft system, which involved U.S. and British warplanes, was initially glowing. But the disclosure of the guided weapons failure rate stunned defense officials yesterday and led them to scale back their assessment of the damage done in the attack.
In Lebanon, security forces used water cannons and batons to drive back hundreds of students marching on the American Embassy yesterday protesting the bombing of Iraq and U.S. support for Israel. Officials said at least 12 people were injured. About 500 students tried to march on the fortified compound but were met by about 200 helmeted riot police swinging batons and backed by rifle-toting Army troops atop armored personnel carriers. Large banners denounced Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon and President Bush as “two faces of the same terroristic coin.”
The Security Council on Congo’s warring sides have agreed to a new timetable for the factions to begin pulling back their troops and for U.N. observers to move in to oversee their departure. A resolution with the new blueprint is expected to be adopted today at the conclusion of a two-day meeting between the council, ministers of the six warring countries and representatives of Congo’s three main rebel groups involved in the conflict. Hopes for peace have been raised by recent pledges by Rwanda and Uganda to withdraw troops from Congolese territory. In addition, Congo’s new president, Joseph Kabila, has agreed to meet with a regional mediator to launch talks with the country’s internal opposition — a key provision of the 1999 ceasefire agreement that his slain father had refused to fulfill.
The Supreme Court has ruled 5 to 4 that state workers cannot file employment discrimination suits against their employers under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The court’s majority held that Congress went beyond its authority when it let state workers file such claims. The case decided yesterday concerns two suits brought against Alabama by employees accusing state agencies of discrimination because of medical problems — breast cancer in the case of Patricia Garrett and respiratory ailments in the case of Milton Ash.