Archive for Wednesday, October 18, 2000

National Briefs

October 18, 2000



Anti-Defamation League posts hate information


The Anti-Defamation League has devised an online guide to hate symbols, logos and tattoos to help parents and teachers identify warning signs in their communities.

The guide appeared Tuesday on the ADL's Web site. Unlike a companion print edition, the ADL's Web site will be continually updated with new symbols and groups. The league will also encourage visitors to report new sightings via e-mail.

The effort comes as white supremacists and other hate groups increasingly turn to the Internet to organize and spread their messages.


Ford issues recall for Focus subcompact

Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday that it is voluntarily recalling more than 350,000 of its popular Focus subcompact cars with at least one of three suspected defects.

There have been no reported accidents resulting from any problems with the vehicles' cruise control cables, rear wheel and brake drum assemblies or A-pillar interior trim, the Dearborn-based company said.

The recall involves a total of 351,102 model year 2000 Focus cars, whose owners are being asked to upgrade the vehicles to meet new federal standards for protecting passengers against head injuries.

Dealers will install new A-pillar trim panels with improved energy-absorbing material. The panels are near the windshield.


State pension fund to sell tobacco stocks

The nation's largest public employee pension fund has decided to sell the tobacco stock in its biggest portfolios, saying an "unprecedented amount" of litigation and regulation made the industry a bad investment.

The board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System voted 7-5 on Monday to divest the approximately $525 million in stock it holds in tobacco companies in its "passively managed" portfolios.

The action comes about four months after California's other major public pension fund, the State Teachers' Retirement System, announced it would sell off its tobacco stock holdings, worth more than $237 million.


Countries coordinate alien smuggling arrests

U.S. immigration officers working with counterparts in Mexico and five Central American nations have arrested 38 alien smugglers, including an alleged kingpin, and detained 3,500 of their clients before they got to the United States.

The results of Operation Forerunner, the first simultaneous, coordinated multinational antismuggling action, were announced by Immigration Commissioner Doris Meissner at a news conference here Tuesday. The three-week operation began Sept. 21.

Meissner described the joint operation as an "extremely cost-effective" way to attack the growing, "nasty and vicious" billion-dollar alien smuggling business.


Twin 13-year-old boys charged with rape

The mother of two identical 13-year-old twins charged with beating and raping a 40-year-old woman defended her sons as "good kids" as they appeared at a court hearing on the charges.

The twins, who were not identified, were sent to a youth facility after their Family Court hearing Monday. They were charged as juveniles with assault, burglary, rape, robbery and sexual abuse. They were scheduled to return to court on Thursday.

The victim and her 2-year-old son were returning to their apartment with bags of groceries about 8 p.m. The twins offered to help with the bags and then shoved their way into the apartment, police said.

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