- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 31, 2000

Pentagon can be sued on enlistment bonuses

PORTLAND, Maine Thousands of former military men and women kicked out of the armed forces for being too fat or out of shape can sue the Pentagon for taking back their enlistment bonuses.

A federal judge ruled last week that a lawsuit filed by three persons who say the Pentagon illegally took back their bonuses can be expanded to a class-action suit.

Many of the 20,000 people discharged for obesity from the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force between 1992 and 1995 lost all or part of the money they received when they signed up.

The money amounts to thousands of dollars for many of the plaintiffs, and as many as 5,000 to 10,000 people could join in the lawsuit.

Clinton asks Yemen for more cooperation

President Clinton appealed for greater cooperation from Yemen in the investigation of the bombing of the USS Cole, saying the United States needs direct access to witnesses, suspects and evidence.

Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright said yesterday that Yemen "had to cooperate more" as the United States searches for links to Islamic militant Osama bin Laden, who has emerged as the prime focus of the investigation, though American officials have said they have no hard evidence he directed it.

College marijuana use rises by 22 percent

Marijuana use among U.S. college students rose 22 percent from 1993 to 1999, according to a Harvard University study of 119 colleges.

Among more than 14,000 students surveyed, 15.7 percent in 1999 said they had used marijuana recently, up from 12.9 percent in 1993.

The increase spanned all demographic groups and public and private colleges of all sizes, the study said. Most of the increase occurred between 1993 and 1997, then remained high in 1999, according to the study.

ADA does not apply to 'Millionaire' show

MIAMI The final answer from a federal judge is that the Americans With Disabilities Act does not cover the qualifying round of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"

Miami's Center for Independent Living had sued ABC and the producer of the hit show for a system that would let the deaf and others unable to use touch-tone telephones try to become contestants.

Currently, callers must punch in correct answers to a series of questions to qualify for a random drawing and more questions.

U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno ruled yesterday that the ADA is not broad enough to cover the show's screening process, but he said the show's goal "should be to encourage participants with disabilities."

Philadelphia teachers get their way in strike

PHILADELPHIA A weekend teachers strike ended with a tentative agreement before dawn yesterday, just in time for classes to continue without interruption for more than 210,000 students.

"I think it's a great deal for the union, for the children of this city, for the future of this city," Mayor John Street said yesterday.

Both sides officially withheld details until the new contract is ratified, but sources familiar with the talks said the primary dispute extending the school day ended where teachers had drawn their line in the sand.

Teachers will extend their 6 and 1/2-hour day to seven hours. Mr. Street had wanted an extra hour.

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