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Archive for Tuesday, December 5, 2000

News briefs

December 5, 2000

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Alabama

Driver sentenced in killing

A woman was sentenced to 13 years in prison Monday for the "road rage" shooting death of another motorist on a highway exit ramp.

Shirley Henson, 41, was convicted of manslaughter for killing Gena Foster, a 34-year-old mother of three.

Prosecutors said Henson tailgated Foster for several miles on Interstate 65 as the two women drove from work to their homes in suburban Birmingham in 1999.

Circuit Judge Al Crowson who said all drivers have "a little road rage" in them said neither probation, as requested by the defense, nor the maximum sentence of 20 years was appropriate.

"I really don't understand what happened out there," the judge told Henson. "I look at you and it puzzles me."

Florida

Pair of rare white tigers born

A pair of extremely rare white Bengal tigers two in a litter of three were born early Monday morning at the Amazing Exotics Education Center outside Umatilla to parents that have the usual orange striping.

The cats one male and one female have snowy white bodies with smoky gray "bars" running across them, said Chet Rothberg, chief administrative officer at the center that breeds and trains endangered animals from around the world.

"It's a miracle," Rothberg said. "It's a very, very rare occurrence."

Rothberg said white tigers bred in captivity are often the product of inbreeding. The fact that the two unrelated big cats mated and produced "genetically correct" twin white tigers is what makes the birth so momentous, Rothberg said.

Japan

Entire Cabinet resigns

Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori's Cabinet resigned en masse this morning, formally opening the way for Mori to announce a new Cabinet that will oversee a sweeping restructuring of Japan's bureaucracy.

Mori, one of Japan's most unpopular prime ministers in years, was expected to announce the new Cabinet as early as this evening. He hopes the change will breathe new life into his sagging administration.

Germany

Former Nazi officer on trial

An 82-year-old retired journalist went on trial Monday, accused of gunning down seven Jewish concentration camp inmates during World War II, one of the last German Nazi war crimes suspects likely to face justice.

Julius Viel, a second lieutenant in a Nazi SS unit during the war, angrily denied prosecution charges that he shot the inmates at the Theresienstadt camp in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in 1945.

On many points Viel argued he couldn't remember everything that had happened 55 years ago. "If I had known I would be questioned in the year 2000, I would have taken notes," he said in court.

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