- The Washington Times - Friday, November 23, 2001

Aid groups appeal for security force

A group of relief agencies is calling for the immediate deployment of an international stabilization force to Afghanistan to secure the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

The appeal comes amid growing disintegration of the security situation as the Taliban continues to retreat, leaving power vacuums and lawlessness throughout the country.

"We believe there's a dangerous lack of security in parts of Afghanistan that is making it difficult to distribute aid adequately," said Ken Bacon of Refugees International, which, along with four other groups, has urged urgent action to restore order.

The rapid retreat of the Taliban in the face of Northern Alliance advances backed by U.S. bombing and military advice should have made the distribution of aid easier, but the relief workers said the lack of law and order has made aid distribution more difficult.

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said Wednesday he shared these concerns but noted that the situation looked to be improving gradually and that there were already plans to send French and Jordanian troops to secure Mazar-e-Sharif.

Freight station razed for Clinton library

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. Over objections from historic preservation groups, a century-old freight station was razed Wednesday to make way for the Clinton Presidential Library.

Historic preservationists sued to block the demolition of the Choctaw freight terminal. The groups contended the city, the foundation building the library complex and federal officials violated the law by not considering the project's effect on historic properties.

But a federal judge Wednesday denied a request for a last-minute injunction, allowing the demolition to go ahead.

Library officials said they plan to save the nearby Choctaw passenger station and a historic railroad bridge over the Arkansas River.

Groundbreaking for the 28-acre complex, which includes a library, a policy center and an archive for former President Bill Clinton's presidential papers, is set for Dec. 5. The project is slated for completion in 2004.

Cosmetic queen dies at age 83

DALLAS Mary Kay Ash, whose pink Cadillacs and eponymous cosmetics company made her one of the most famous women in American business, died yesterday at her home in Dallas. She was 83.

Mrs. Ash, who had been in fragile health in recent years, died of natural causes, Mary Kay Inc. said in a news release.

"The world has lost one of its greatest champions of women and one of the most loving and inspirational business leaders," said Mrs. Ash's son, Richard Rogers, who is also co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer at Mary Kay.

Mary Kay Inc. grew from a sales force of 11 in 1963 to more than 750,000 in 37 countries. Its wholesale revenue was $1.3 billion last year. But fans of Mrs. Ash said there is more to her than just profits; they said she enriched women's lives at a time when it was difficult for them to succeed in the corporate world.

GOP attorney tapped for FEC

President Bush plans to nominate the Republican Party's top attorney to serve on the Federal Election Commission.

Michael E. Toner, the Republican National Committee's chief counsel, was the Bush campaign's general counsel and an attorney for former Sen. Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign.

The six-member FEC is charged with enforcing federal campaign finance laws. The panel includes three commissioners each from the Republican and Democratic parties.

Campaign finance watchdogs criticized Mr. Bush's appointment of Mr. Toner.

"This is another example of appointing people to the Federal Election Commission who represent views of the regulated community rather than the public," said Fred Wertheimer, head of Democracy 21.

Each commissioner serves a six-year term.

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