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Archive for Monday, April 19, 2004

Briefly

April 19, 2004

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Washington, D.C.

Rice denies war decision came earlier than stated

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice forcefully disputed on Sunday an assertion that President Bush decided in early January 2003 to invade Iraq, three months before official accounts say the decision was made.

The statement, in Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward's new book about the run-up to war, is "simply not, not right," Rice said.

Bush said at a prime-time news conference on March 6 that a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing action was days away. Ten days later, having failed to win approval, the resolution was withdrawn, and the assault began March 20 (March 19 in the United States).

Rice did not deny the private conversation between her and Bush just after New Year's Day in which Woodward said the decision was made, but she said the writer had misinterpreted what was said.

Los Angeles

Schwarzenegger attends Holocaust memorial

Crimes against Jewish people are crimes against all humanity, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Sunday during an annual Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony.

"We accept the Holocaust as a symbol of our duty and responsibility to prevent such travesties from ever happening again," said Schwarzenegger, a longtime supporter of Holocaust memorial efforts who also paid for an investigation into his father's Nazi past.

The event, which drew about 3,000 people to the Los Angeles Holocaust Monument in Pan Pacific Park, took place to remember the 6 million Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis.

New York City

Police say suspect in deadly fire had vendetta

Police said a man accused of starting an apartment fire that killed five people was trying to settle a score with a tenant he believed had assaulted a neighborhood woman.

Rodney Williams, 28, admitted buying a 99-cent bottle of rubbing alcohol on Friday night and leaving it in the Brooklyn building's lobby, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Sunday. Early Saturday morning, Williams re-entered the building, soaked advertising circulars he found in the lobby with the rubbing alcohol and set them on fire, Kelly said.

The blaze rapidly engulfed the building's staircase and killed four members of an extended family, including a 2-year-old girl, who lived on the third floor of the building. A man on the second floor also died.

North Dakota

Vigil held for slain student

On the University of North Dakota campus in Grand Forks, several hundred mourners left candles on the lawn in front of Dru Sjodin's sorority after gathering for a memorial Sunday night.

Searchers found Sjodin's body Saturday morning in a ravine near a county road northwest of Crookston, Minn., after a five-month search. Sjodin, 22, was last seen alive Nov. 22 at a Grand Forks shopping mall.

"It has been a long, long five months," Erinn O'Keefe Hakstol, adviser at Gamma Phi Beta sorority, said earlier Sunday.

After the service, the sorority sisters led a candlelight procession from Memorial Union to the Gamma Phi house, where they placed candles on the front step.

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