- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 14, 2002

Interior can't account for all Indian funds
Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton acknowledged in court yesterday that a complete accounting of a trust fund handling $500 million a year in royalties from Indian-owned land is impossible because some documents have been destroyed.
Miss Norton's agency is attempting to determine exactly how much money Indians are owed because of previous mismanagement of the fund, which was established more than 100 years ago and is the subject of a class-action lawsuit by Indians.
Miss Norton was on the stand to defend herself against a contempt-of-court charge.

Accused killer suffers stroke
JACKSON, Miss. A white man facing federal charges in the 1966 Ku Klux Klan killing of a black farm worker has had a stroke and can't communicate, his attorney said.
Ernest H. Avants, 70, was acquitted in state court in 1967 in the shooting death of Ben Chester White.
But federal prosecutors took over the case after learning it occurred in a national forest and Mr. Avants was indicted in 2000 on charges of aiding and abetting Mr. White's killing.
He had the stroke last week during bypass surgery on a carotid artery.

Bloomberg calls for budget cuts
NEW YORK Mayor Michael Bloomberg's first budget, released yesterday in the midst of the city's worst fiscal situation in years, would cut city departments by up to 26 percent to close a $4.76 billion deficit.
The roughly $40 billion budget includes reductions in education and the police and fire departments but does not call for new taxes or layoffs.

Court upholds Farrakhan ban
BOSTON Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan had no legal obligation to admit women into a leased theater for one of his speeches, the state's highest court ruled yesterday.
Marceline Donaldson and her husband, Robert Bennett, sued Mr. Farrakhan, a local mosque and others after she was denied admittance to a Farrakhan speech in 1994 because she was a woman.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the state's public accommodation laws did not compel Mr. Farrakhan to address women in a men's mosque meeting.

Accused mass killer hangs self in jail
SACRAMENTO, Calif. A Ukrainian immigrant accused of killing his pregnant wife, 3-year-old son and four other relatives in an August murder spree hanged himself in his jail cell yesterday, police said.
Sacramento County Sheriff Lou Blanas said Nikolay Soltys, 28, was found hanging in his cell from a noose made from a plastic bag and a strip of cloth. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mr. Soltys had been placed in a top-security cell with a surveillance camera.
"Preliminary investigation has revealed that the location where Soltys secured the ligatures was out of view of the cell's camera," Sheriff Blanas said.
The suspect's attorney, Tommy Clinkenbeard, said he was "not buying" the explanation. "There's something wrong here," he said.

Lawmaker requests Clinton gifts probe
A Republican lawmaker is asking Attorney General John Ashcroft to open a criminal investigation into gifts to former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat
Rep. Doug Ose, California Republican, chairman of a House Government Reform subcommittee, said his staff's investigation found that the Clintons did not report some gifts and undervalued others.
In addition, Mr. Ose said the former first lady may have solicited gifts in violation of federal rules.
"The documents that I have enclosed with this letter fully support the opening of a criminal investigation into this matter," Mr. Ose said yesterday in a letter to Mr. Ashcroft.
The Clintons took more than $400,000 worth of gifts when they left the White House a year ago.


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