Archive for Saturday, March 31, 2001

Nation Briefs

March 31, 2001


Radio host charged with animal cruelty

Tampa radio talk show host Todd Clem and three others were charged with animal cruelty for the castration and slaughter of a wild boar in a radio station's parking lot.

The charges, filed Thursday, are punishable by five years in prison. Hundreds of people sent letters and e-mails to WXTB-FM and to law enforcement agencies complaining about a Feb. 27 "roadkill barbecue" promotion that took place while Clem was on the air. Clem was suspended after the event.

Also charged were a producer of the show, a volunteer from the audience accused of helping to hold down the boar, and a hunter who prosecutors say brought and killed the animal.

Businessman wins libel suit against paper

A major stockholder in the now-defunct Santa Barbara Savings and Loan was awarded $2.25 million for two libelous news articles that linked him to investment fraud. The damage award, announced Thursday, stemmed from two Santa Barbara News-Press articles about Beverly Hills businessman Leonard Ross.

Ross was seeking regulatory approval to increase his stake in Santa Barbara Savings when articles published in November 1988 and February 1989 linked him to investment fraud investigations by federal agencies.

Ross claimed the stories ruined his reputation and caused him emotional distress by associating him with wrongful actions by his former partner, Barry Marlin, who was convicted of investor fraud in 1978.

Husband of detainee takes citizenship oath

The husband of an American University scholar detained in China on spying charges took the oath of U.S. citizenship Friday, an event he had hoped he could share with his wife, Gao Zhan. "I feel so sad for my wife," Xue Donghua told members of Congress and more than a dozen television cameras and reporters after standing before seven U.S. flags and swearing allegiance to the United States. "She should be standing here with me."

No outside representatives including those from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the Red Cross have been able to contact Gao.

Modern Jazz Quartet leader dies of cancer

John Lewis, the pianist, primary composer and musical director for the legendary Modern Jazz Quartet, died Thursday at his home in Manhattan after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer. He was 80. One of the most influential musicians in jazz in the last half-century, Lewis brought classic sensibilities into jazz to create an accessible sound for the innovative small combo that attracted a worldwide audience.

In addition to his work with the MJQ, Lewis was for many years in the 1960s and '70s, the musical director of the Monterey Jazz Festival.

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