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Archive for Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Nation Briefs

March 19, 2002

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Kentucky: Floods sweep South, blamed for 6 deaths

A second day of heavy rain in the hills of Kentucky and Tennessee triggered floods and mudslides Monday that destroyed dozens of homes and forced some to flee by boat as water lapped at the rooftops.

Tennessee authorities blamed at least six deaths on the storm, which dumped as much as 6 inches of rain Sunday on the region. Showers are expected over the next couple of days.

Officials called the flooding in eastern Kentucky the worst in the region in 25 years. National Guard troops were sent in with three boats, three trucks and a Humvee to assist with evacuations.

In Virginia, Gov. Mark Warner declared emergencies in seven counties in the southwestern part of the state, and summoned National Guard troops to help evacuate residents.

Boston: Conservatives seek cardinal's resignation

With the Boston Archdiocese engulfed in a sex scandal, the latest call for Cardinal Bernard Law to resign came in Monday's Wall Street Journal, where former Education Secretary William J. Bennett, author of "The Book of Virtues," echoed a demand made previously by fellow Catholic conservative William F. Buckley and by the Boston Herald.

"Priests  including Cardinal Law  who have been involved in these cover-ups must be removed from positions of authority," Bennett wrote.

Buckley wrote in National Review last month: "The critical concern should have been to get children out of harm's way. He didn't do that. ... One can feel with great sorrow and understanding the derangement of the arsonist, but one does not send him back into the forest."

Many Catholics agree. A Boston Herald poll conducted last month found that 61 percent of Catholics in the archdiocese said Law should resign.

San Francisco: Desegregation plan based on family income

Parents will learn this week where their children will go to school under the city's latest desegregation effort, which uses a formula based not on race but on such things as a family's income.

The "diversity index" is designed to send greater numbers of disadvantaged students to better-off campuses. Parents had to submit applications by Feb. 1; letters notifying them which campus their child will attend are just being sent out.

Besides a family's economic status, the new index ranks students based on such things as whether the child attended preschool and whether English is spoken in the home.

Washington, D.C.: New iceberg breaks from Antarctica

An iceberg larger than Delaware has broken off Antarctica.

The National Ice Center reported Monday that the berg, named B-22, broke free from an ice tongue in the Amundsen Sea, an area of Antarctica south of the Pacific Ocean.

The new iceberg is located at 74.56 south latitude and 107.55 west longitude.

It is 40 miles wide and 53 miles long, covering 2,130 square miles, slightly more than the 1,982-square-mile area of Delaware.

Washington, D.C.: High Court suspends attorney F. Lee Bailey

The Supreme Court suspended defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey from practice before the high court on Monday, following Bailey's disbarment in his home state of Florida.

The nation's highest court gave Bailey 40 days to say why he should not be permanently barred from practicing law there. The Supreme Court automatically begins disbarment proceedings against members of its bar who have been disbarred in their home states.

The Florida Supreme Court disbarred Bailey in November for mishandling $6 million worth of stock for a client now serving a life sentence for drug smuggling.

Membership in the Supreme Court bar is largely honorary, and few lawyers ever argue a case there. Bailey is an exception. He gained prominence in 1966 for getting the high court to overturn a murder verdict against Sam Sheppard, an Ohio doctor convicted of killing his wife. The case became the basis for "The Fugitive" television series.

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