- The Washington Times - Monday, February 26, 2001

Farrakhan criticizes Bush, backs Jackson

CHICAGO Nearly four months after major surgery, a fiery Minister Louis Farrakhan returned to a public forum yesterday, defending the Rev. Jesse Jackson and criticizing actions taken by the Bush administration.
At his annual speech for Savior's Day, the Nation of Islam leader criticized President Bush for recent missile strikes in Iraq, a predominantly Muslim country, and education proposals that he said would do little to help minority and poor children.
About Mr. Jackson, who revealed last month that he had fathered a daughter during an extramarital affair, Mr. Farrakhan said, "Let no one throw a stone at Reverend Jackson or anyone else."

Colombia seeks trade to beat drug traffic

Colombian President Andres Pastrana urged the United States yesterday to open its markets to his country's legal exports to help defeat drug trafficking that is fueling a civil war.
Mr. Pastrana, in Washington to meet with President George W. Bush tomorrow, asked for the renewal and enhancement of the 1991 Andean Trade Preferences Act when it expires in December.
"Convincing guerrillas to lay down their arms, and getting peasants to move from coca cultivation into the legitimate economy, means we have to create jobs for tens of thousands of Colombians," he told the National Governors' Association.

Tornados kill at least 7 in South

PONTOTOC, Miss. A tornado killed five persons and destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes around Pontotoc, Miss., as violent storms swept through the region, authorities said yesterday.
A 2-year-old boy was killed by a tornado in Arkansas, and a man died in a flooded creek in Kansas.
The storms struck the region late Saturday, but the full extent of damage in rural northern Mississippi has not yet been determined.

Clinton commutations include classmate

PALM BEACH President Bill Clinton commuted the sentence of a former classmate who was represented by Theodore Olson the lawyer who argued President Bush's successful election case before the Supreme Court, the Palm Beach Post reported yesterday.
Paul Prosperi, a former Palm Beach society lawyer who attended Georgetown University with Mr. Clinton, was granted a commutation after Mr. Olson wrote the president a letter on his behalf, the Post said.
The newspaper said that before the commutation, Prosperi faced as many as eight years in federal prison for a 1998 conviction for filing false tax returns and using fake bank accounts to cover up an embezzlement.

Newspaper completes review of ballots

MIAMI A review of 10,644 uncounted ballots in Miami-Dade County showed Al Gore would not have gained enough votes to overtake George W. Bush in Florida when those votes were combined with results from three other counties where the vice president requested manual recounts, a newspaper reported today.

Mr. Gore would have gained no more than 49 votes in Miami-Dade, the Miami Herald reported in today's editions. When combined with Mr. Gore's gains in Broward, Palm Beach and Volusia counties, he would not have overcome the Bush lead.

Police arrest soap star on cocaine charge

NEW YORK Television soap opera star Michael Nader, who has played a count on ABC's "All My Children" for 10 years, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of selling cocaine in a Manhattan nightclub, police said yesterday.
Police said Mr. Nader was one of five persons at the after-hours Barber Shop club in the East Village who were arrested. Mr. Nader was charged with allegedly selling a $20 bag of cocaine to an undercover police officer.
Police said that after his arrest, Mr. Nader was taken to the hospital for treatment for an undisclosed illness.

Seattle Mardi Gras turns violent

SEATTLE Police in riot gear used pepper spray, rubber bullets and concussion bombs to break up Mardi Gras festivities early yesterday in the second day of violence tied to the celebration.
Police said several people in a crowd of about 2,000 threw bottles, rocks and firecrackers at officers soon after bars closed at about 1:30 a.m.
Seven persons were arrested on charges ranging from assault to property damage. One person was stabbed, a police officer suffered a broken arm and a woman was hit by a car. Some in the crowd smashed car and store windows.

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