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Archive for Wednesday, October 30, 2002

News briefs

October 30, 2002

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Louisiana: Tornado, flooding kill 4 along Gulf

A tornado flung a mobile home several hundred yards early Tuesday, killing two people near Chataignier and seriously injuring five others, authorities said. A man suffered a fatal heart attack as he was rescued from another trailer flattened by high winds.

The tornado was spawned by a storm system that produced heavy rain and high wind from Texas, across Louisiana and into Mississippi.

Flooding killed one person and forced dozens from their homes in the Houston area. High wind also caused scattered damage in southern Mississippi and tornadoes were reported in the area.

Homes and streets were flooded in the Beaumont, Tex., area after about 8 inches of rain fell in four hours. The body of a Beaumont woman was found in a car submerged in a flooded underpass near downtown, police said.

Washington: Atheist Scout given week to declare belief

Eagle Scout Darrell Lambert has earned 37 merit badges, worked more than 1,000 hours of community service and helps lead a Boy Scout troop in his hometown of Port Orchard.

But the 19-year-old has another distinction that may lead to his removal from the Boy Scouts: He's an atheist.

Last week, Lambert was given roughly a week by the Boy Scouts' regional executive to declare belief in a supreme being and comply with Boy Scout policy, or quit the Scouts. A definite date hadn't been set by Tuesday.

On membership applications, Boy Scouts and adult leaders must say they recognize some higher power, not necessarily religious. "Mother Nature would be acceptable," said Brad Farmer, the Scout executive of the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts.

As a private organization, the Boy Scouts are permitted to exclude certain people from membership. The organization bans gays and atheists.

Los Angeles: Barbers file suit over movie remarks

A group of barbers and beauticians has sued the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, claiming the activists' remarks about the movie "Barbershop" drove away customers.

The suit was filed Monday by the National Association of Cosmetologists. It accuses Jackson and Sharpton of intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud and negligence stemming from their demand for apologies from MGM, which produced the comedy.

The activists had called for scenes deriding Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks to be removed from the film starring Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer. MGM refused.

The association, which claims to represent 50,000 barbers and beauticians, said Jackson and Sharpton misrepresented themselves as spokesmen for the group.

Virginia: Slave who planned revolt deemed patriot

The City Council in Richmond, former capital of the Confederacy, has voted unanimously to honor a slave who plotted a revolt.

Monday's resolution calling Gabriel Prosser an "American patriot and freedom fighter" commemorates the 202nd anniversary of his hanging on Oct. 10, 1800, in Richmond. Dozens of conspirators also were executed after two slaves told their masters of the plot.

The resolution was opposed by Ron Doggett, Virginia president of the European American Unity and Rights Organization. "When you honor Gabriel, you honor his planned intentions. And his planned intentions were mass murder and terror," Doggett said.

Prosser's plot called for killing whites with weapons made from farm tools. The slaves planned to set fires, commandeer the city arsenal, take Gov. James Monroe hostage and then negotiate their freedom.

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