- The Washington Times - Friday, August 11, 2000

Jackson accuses Mississippi of cover-up

KOKOMO, Miss. Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson accused Mississippi authorities Thursday of failing to thoroughly investigate those who he said had lynched a black teen-ager.

Mr. Jackson, president of the Rainbow-PUSH Coalition, said at least 15 persons had a motive to kill Raynard Johnson, a 17-year-old honor student found hanging from a pecan tree outside his home in Kokomo on June 16.

"They never saw fit to put those whose motives were suspect under oath where they would risk perjury," Mr. Jackson told reporters in a conference call. "They concluded suicide before the investigation began."

State investigators ruled the death a suicide after two autopsies failed to turn up other injuries or marks on Mr. Johnson's body consistent with murder.

Navy helicopter crash kills crew members

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas Two crew members were killed and two others were missing Thursday after a Navy helicopter crashed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Two others were recovering from injuries.

The survivors, found floating with inflatable life jackets, were rescued more than 30 minutes after the helicopter went down. They were in stable condition.

No names were released, pending notification of relatives.

The MH-53E helicopter was practicing minesweeping when it crashed about 17 miles offshore. Crew members reported mechanical problems and the helicopter was attempting to return to shore when it crashed.

'Fat switch' found but 'thin pill' unlikely

In America's endless search for a magic pill to shrink the waistline, researchers have found a "fat switch" a protein that causes developing cells to become either muscle or fat.

But unfortunately, the "fat switch" protein does not offer the promise of an eternally slim body, say University of Michigan Medical School researchers.

An article in Friday's issue of Science magazine said that both fat and muscle cells evolve from what are called precursor cells. The ultimate destiny in the body of some of these precursor cells is determined by a family of 18 proteins that can be manipulated.

The action protein is very local, affecting only a few cells in its vicinity. It does not travel throughout the body. As a result, researchers said, an anti-fat pill is not a likely consequence.

Judge upholds Vermont campaign-finance law

BURLINGTON, Vt. A federal judge Thursday upheld much of Vermont's campaign-finance law, including its limit on individual campaign contributions.

But U.S. District Court Judge William Sessions declared unconstitutional the portions of the law that limit how much can be spent by campaigns and how much can be contributed from out of state.

The law, which went into effect in January 1998, also offers public financing to candidates for governor and lieutenant governor.

Women win millions in Bosnia rape suit

NEW YORK Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic should pay $745 million to a group of women who were brutally raped and tortured during his rule, a Manhattan federal jury decided Thursday.

Neither Karadzic, who is believed to be hiding in Bosnia, nor his lawyers have appeared in court and it is unlikely the rape survivors will collect.

State rules baby can have two mothers

BOSTON Two lesbians can list both their names as "mother" on a birth certificate if the women are connected to the child by birth or biology, a Massachusetts court ruled.

This gives both parents rights that include "all the things married people take for granted" such as health insurance, child support, tax deductions, custody and inheritance, explained the women's lawyer, Joyce Kauffman who represented Mary Jane Knoll and Christine Finn.

The baby boy was conceived in vitro using Miss Knoll's eggs and a donor's semen. Miss Finn then carried the baby to term.

From combined dispatches and staff reports

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