- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 17, 2003

Trucker got $2,500 to haul illegal aliens

HOUSTON — Panicking at the sight of dead and dying illegal immigrants who had been packed into his tractor-trailer, a New York trucker unhooked his tractor and fled the scene, according to an affidavit by a federal agent.

Seventeen persons were found dead in the trailer parked at a truck stop near Victoria early Wednesday. One person later died at a hospital.

Tyrone Williams at first said he was hauling an empty trailer but later changed his story, telling authorities he was paid $2,500 to transport 16 immigrants from South Texas, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Steven Greenwell said in an affidavit released Thursday.

L.A. leaders move toward slavery disclosure law

LOS ANGELES — City officials took a major step yesterday toward passing an ordinance that would require companies doing business with the city to disclose whether they ever profited from slavery.

City Council members voted unanimously to have its attorneys draft the ordinance, which must then be approved and signed by Mayor James Hahn. A spokeswoman for Mr. Hahn said the mayor would sign it.

Critics of such measures believe they are a first step toward slavery reparations for blacks.

Council member Nate Holden said that is not the city’s intention but added that companies who may have profited from slavery should consider making “restitution” by donating to inner-city charities “out of the goodness of their hearts.”

Chicago is the only city to have such an ordinance.

Kerry offers plan for health care

DES MOINES, Iowa — Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry yesterday offered his plan for solving the nation’s health care woes, an $80 billion package that he said provides a unique commitment to curb soaring medical bills.

The Massachusetts senator faulted his rivals for ignoring a core component of the crisis: skyrocketing health care costs. He touted his plan as a tough-minded move to attack health care costs, which last year grew at the fastest rate in a decade.

“The plan I proposed today meets the test of boldness and responsibility,” Mr. Kerry said in a speech. “It builds on what works and fixes what doesn’t.”

He argued that $350 billion a year is spent on the administrative costs of running the health care system, and he pledged to cut that in half if elected.

Students in hazing face adult charges

CHICAGO — A dozen girls and three boys accused of participating in the brutal hazing of junior girls from a suburban Chicago high school have been charged with misdemeanor battery, prosecutors announced yesterday.

The students, all 17- and 18-year-old seniors, were charged as adults in the May 4 incident, authorities said.

“It is simply the kind of behavior that any community cannot tolerate and will not tolerate,” Cook County State’s Attorney Dick Devine said in announcing the charges.

The investigation was continuing and further charges were possible, Mr. Devine said.

The students are accused of participating in a melee in a Cook County park that was captured on videotape.

Lunsford drops out of race for governor

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Bruce Lunsford, a millionaire businessman who sank $8 million of his fortune into a bid for governor, abruptly dropped out of the Democratic primary yesterday, four days before the election.

Mr. Lunsford cited a devastating set of campaign commercials aired Thursday by his chief Democratic rival, state Attorney General Ben Chandler, that talked about abuse of patients in the nursing homes Mr. Lunsford’s company operated.

Mr. Lunsford said his negative ratings immediately shot up Thursday night, prompting him to pull out of the four-way primary. In a poll published Wednesday, Mr. Lunsford was running second in the Democratic race, trailing Mr. Chandler, the grandson of former Kentucky Gov. A.B. “Happy” Chandler, by 12 points.

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