- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 6, 2002

U.S. assails Burma after rape reports
The State Department said yesterday it was appalled by reports that Burmese military forces are raping girls and women in an ethnic rebel stronghold near the Thai border.
Spokeswoman Lynn Cassel said U.S. concerns have been raised with officials in Burma. She said the administration is calling on the officials to investigate all such accusations.
She said the problem reportedly is concentrated in Shan state, where recent fighting has forced the evacuation of a number of Thai villagers.
"We condemn the pervasive use of rape or other forms of sexual violence by military forces against a vulnerable population," Miss Cassel said.
Two human rights groups in Shan reported there have been 173 cases of rape and other forms of sexual violence against girls and women by Burmese troops.

Five blazes beset Michigan town
HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. A spate of fires caused by fireworks and arsonists destroyed several homes and spread fire and police crews thin in this cash-strapped town, authorities said.
Fires broke out in five separate locations about 11:40 p.m. Thursday, said police Sgt. Robert Howard. By 4:30 a.m. yesterday, the blazes were contained. No injuries were reported.
"Two or three of them probably are arson with intent to burn," he said.
Holiday fireworks may have been a factor in at least one of the blazes, he said.
The worst of the fires began in a vacant auto transmission shop and spread, destroying several homes and a building housing a mosque. At least some of the other fires also began in vacant buildings.

Ex-Kentucky governor dead at age 60
LEXINGTON, Ky. Former Gov. Wallace Wilkinson, a self-made millionaire who helped create Kentucky's lottery and overhauled the state's public schools, died yesterday. He was 60.
Mr. Wilkinson, a Democrat who was governor from 1987 to 1991, had been battling a recurrence of lymphatic cancer that was first diagnosed while in office. He died at St. Joseph Hospital, a day after suffering a stroke, said his attorney, Robert Brown.
"His courage and leadership, when faced with the inadequacies of funding for Kentucky schools, will be his legacy and has forever changed the future of Kentucky," Gov. Paul Patton said.
Mr. Wilkinson, whose business empire collapsed in bankruptcy last year, started a used-book store as a teen-ager that grew into a national company. At its peak, Wallace's Bookstores Inc. operated 91 stores on 60 college and seminary campuses.
His administration helped create the Kentucky Lottery, which he had pushed as an alternative to higher taxes, and the 1990 Kentucky Education Reform Act, which set high performance standards, held schools accountable for their results and greatly increased school funding.

Hundreds pay respects to singer Clooney
MAYSVILLE, Ky. Rosemary Clooney was buried yesterday in her hometown and remembered fondly in the church where she was baptized.
The singer and actress, who starred with Bing Crosby in "White Christmas," died June 29 at her Beverly Hills, Calif., home after a prolonged battle with lung cancer. She was 74.
Miss Clooney was eulogized in St. Patrick's Church by her brother, Nick Clooney, an entertainer and former television news anchor in Cincinnati. Actor George Clooney, Nick's son, attended the service and served as one of 10 pallbearers.
"It was Rosemary's gift to connect with anyone from Maysville to Singapore and everywhere in between," her brother said during a three-minute eulogy. "It was a deceptively simple gift, just as her singing was deceptively simple."

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