Archive for Tuesday, October 31, 2000

News briefs

October 31, 2000


Los Angeles

Actor's shooting blamed on realistic fake gun

Police Chief Bernard C. Parks on Monday blamed a realistic-looking prop gun for the fatal police shooting of an actor at a weekend costume party.

The officer, who fired nine shots at Anthony Dwain Lee through a window of a West Los Angeles mansion after seeing him raise what looked like a gun, had "no time" to find out if the weapon was real or to shout a warning, the chief said at a news conference.

Parks on Monday displayed Lee's prop gun, which he said was made of solid gray rubber in the shape of an Israeli-made .357 Desert Eagle semiautomatic handgun.

Parks said such replicas often used as movie props have led to at least seven recent officer-involved shootings. He did not elaborate and left the news conference without answering questions.

New York City

Kissinger out of hospital

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was released from a hospital Monday, about a week after suffering a heart attack.

Kissinger, 77, had entered New York Weill-Cornell Medical Center on Wednesday after suffering what a hospital spokeswoman called "a limited heart attack." Kissinger had undergone bypass surgery in 1982.

He was secretary of state in the Nixon and Ford administrations and played a pivotal role in establishing a U.S. dialogue with Communist China. After the 1973 Middle East war, he negotiated agreements between Israel and two of its Arab foes, Egypt and Syria.

He shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 with North Vietnamese chief negotiator Le Duc Tho for the accord that allowed America to pull out of Vietnam.


'Millionaire' round ADA-exempt

The final answer from a federal judge is that the Americans With Disabilities Act does not cover the qualifying round of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

Miami's Center for Independent Living had sued ABC and the producer of the hit show for a system that would let the deaf and others unable to use touch-tone telephones try to become contestants.

Currently, callers must punch in correct answers to a series of questions to qualify for a random drawing and more questions.

U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno ruled Monday that the ADA is not broad enough to cover the show's screening process, but he said the show's goal "should be to encourage participants with disabilities." There was no immediate response from the network.


Teachers end strike

A weekend teachers strike ended with a tentative agreement before dawn Monday, just in time for classes to continue without interruption for more than 210,000 students.

Both sides officially withheld details until the new contract is ratified, but a source familiar with the talks said the primary dispute extending the school day ended where teachers had drawn the line.

Teachers will work 30 minutes more each day, extending their 6 1/2-hour day to 7 hours, still below the 7 1/2-hour state average. School administrators also will gain more say over the assignment of teachers, with seniority and education levels no longer the only deciding factors, the source said.

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