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HeadlinesFebruary 22, 2001

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U.S. Urges Israel to Release Millions of Dollars in Taxes Due to Palestinian Authority

Feb 22, 2001

The United States yesterday urged Israel to release millions of dollars in taxes due to the Palestinian Authority, ignoring an Israeli demand that violence must first come to an end. The U.N. representative to the Palestinian Authority, Terje Roed-Larsen, made the same appeal and said it would be very difficult to stop the violence as long as Israel restricts economic activity in Gaza and the West Bank. He said that the Palestinian Authority is on the verge of collapse because it will not have the money to pay civil servants and its security forces. Roed-Larsen explained that the Israelis were holding $54 million in tax funds they collect from Palestinians and on Palestinian-made products. The economy has declined sharply since violence broke out last September, because Israel prevents Palestinians from commuting to their jobs in Israel. Roed-Larsen said the closure policy, which is the main cause of misery in Gaza and the West Bank, is “colossally counterproductive” to any security interests, including, and most particularly, Israeli security interests.

Pentagon: Most U.S. Bombs Dropped on Iraqi Radar Stations Last Week Missed Their Mark

Feb 22, 2001

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.

Lebanese Students Protest U.S. Bombing of Iraq and Support for Israel

Feb 22, 2001

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.”

Warring Sides Agree to New Timetable for Troop Withdrawal in Congo

Feb 22, 2001

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.

Supreme Court Rules State Workers Cannot File Employment Discrimination Suits Under ADA

Feb 22, 2001

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.

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