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Archive for Sunday, January 26, 2003

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January 26, 2003

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Boston: Some victims of clergy abuse agree to pretrial moratorium

Many alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse who are suing the Archdiocese of Boston have agreed to a a 90-day moratorium halting pretrial preparations while settlement talks progress, The Boston Globe reported Saturday.

The moratorium was first proposed by Bishop Richard Lennon shortly after he became apostolic administrator of the archdiocese, following Cardinal Bernard Law's resignation, the newspaper said.

But Mitchell Garabedian, who represents about 110 people with claims against the church, said he would not take part.

"I do not hold out much hope for settling these cases. I am continuing to litigate," Garabedian said. He would not discuss his reasons for not taking part.

The moratorium comes amid speculation the Archdiocese of Boston could seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a move that would result in a single global settlement between the archdiocese and the alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Switzerland: Thompson urges nations to fight against bioterrorism

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson on Saturday urged European and other governments to step up efforts to combat the threat of a bioterrorist attack, saying the United States was "further along" in that field and calling on the world community to "get better prepared."

Thompson said in an interview that he would exhort health ministers of 19 other countries to take additional precautions against bioterrorism when he meets them today at an international economics conference in Switzerland.

He said the threat of biological or chemical attacks in Europe had been highlighted by the arrest last week of suspected terrorists in Italy and Spain. They have been linked by authorities to a group seized in Britain in early January in possession of the toxin ricin. Those arrested in Spain allegedly were planning a chemical attack

Thompson is not alone in pressing European governments to do more to guard against bioterrorism. Doctors and other experts in Europe have expressed concern in the past year that authorities were moving too slowly to prepare for attacks using viruses or other biological agents.

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