World Notes

August 30 1999

World Notes

August 30 1999

World Notes


A child’s torture

A Salt Lake City judge threw the book at a Canadian mother and her male friend for torturing her three-year-old child to death. The Utah state parole board will determine whether Ferosa Bluff, 27, and Andrew Fedorowicz, 46, who became friends in Mountain View, Alta., will spend the rest of their lives in prison for the murder of Rebecca Bluff. She was beaten with a whip and a belt in October, shortly after Bluff joined Fedorowicz in Salt Lake.

Back to Columbine

Hugging each other and cheering, 2,000 Columbine High School students returned to classes in Litdeton, Colo., four months after two teenage gunmen killed 15 people in a suicidal rampage. The school has been equipped with 16 surveillance cameras and all students are required to carry identification badges.

Diana and the paparazzi

A French prosecutor investigating the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, recommended that no charges be brought against photographers who followed her car before it crashed. The prosecutor’s office said sole blame belonged with driver Henri Paul, whom tests showed was heavily drunk when he died along with Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed.

A mousy personality

U.S. scientists made a mouse’s grumpy personality more sociable by injecting mouse embryos with a gene from the friendlier prairie vole. The study, reported by researchers at Atlanta’s Emory University, raised the prospect of treating personality disorders in humans—or, critics feared, modifying people’s behaviour.

Lifting Cuba’s embargo

Senate minority leader Tom Daschle called for an end to a U.S. embargo on food and medicine sales to Cuba—part of a wider trade ban—after meeting with President Fidel Castro. Democrat Daschle was the highest-ranking U.S. official in recent years to visit the Communist island.

A massive protest against Milosevic

Brandishing placards demanding change and free elections, a woman in Belgrade protests against President Slobodan Milosevic outside the Yugoslav federal parliament. A crowd of 150,000 chanted “Leave, Slobo, leave,” but some observers say the country’s opposition may be too fragmented to topple Milosevic.

A rough ride for George W. Bush

Fresh from his narrower-thanexpected victory in the Iowa “straw poll,” Republican presidential frontrunner George W. Bush last week encountered the first serious turbulence of his campaign: relentless media questioning about whether he had ever used cocaine. Edging away from his longstanding refusal to discuss the issue, Bush, 52, indicated he had not consumed any illegal drugs since at least 1974. But there was one bright spot for Bush: the Republican field shrank by

one when former Tennessee governor Lamar Alexander dropped out after placing sixth in the unofficial straw poll of25,000 Republicans in Ames, Iowa.

As Bush fended off questions about his personal conduct, Bill Clinton’s scandal-plagued presidency was dealt another blow with the release of the book Bill and Hillary: The Marriage. Author Christopher Andersen alleges that the First Lady had an affair with her Little Rock, Ark., law partner, Vince Foster, who committed suicide while serving as a presidential aide during Clinton’s first term. Andersen quotes an Arkansas state trooper saying, “Hillary and Vince were deeply in love.”

Troubles mount for Boris 4eltsin

Former premier Yevgeny Primakov, widely seen as Russia’s most popular politician, added his clout to forces challenging President Boris Yeltsin. He and influential Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov formed a new centre-left political alliance, which initially will batde the Communists in December parliamentary elections.

One of them is also expected to mn for president against the Yeltsin camp when Yeltsin’s term ends next June. Yeltsin faced more embarrassment in southern Dagestan, where Russian casualties mounted in a struggle with Muslim rebels.