Archive for Monday, February 23, 2004

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February 23, 2004

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California

Tibet supporters call art exhibit boycott

A nationwide boycott of a Tibetan art exhibit is being called for because the display doesn't mention the Chinese occupation of Tibet or the exiled Dalai Lama.

The call came Saturday from about 75 members of three local Tibetan groups who were outside the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, which organized the exhibit and plans to take it on the road. "Tibet: Treasures from the Roof of the World" includes 200 sculptures, paintings and other artworks never before shown in a Western country.

China occupied Tibet in 1951 and has refused to consider giving it autonomy. The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, heads a government-in-exile in India.

A Bowers spokesman said the museum tried to avoid political references.

San Francisco

Couples celebrate same-sex weddings

Hundreds of people gathered Sunday to honor San Francisco's newly married same-sex couples as politicians continued to debate whether the mayor overstepped his authority in allowing the unions.

About 2,000 people attended a mass wedding reception for the couples at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The marriage of Del Martin, 83, and Phyllis Lyon, 79 -- longtime leaders in the city's lesbian community who have been together 51 years -- was the focal point of the celebration. They were the first of more than 3,000 gay couples married in San Francisco beginning Feb. 12.

City Hall was closed Sunday, but city officials were expected to resume issuing same-sex marriage licenses today, despite protests from conservative groups and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Missouri

O.J. Simpson ordered to give up earnings

O.J. Simpson has been ordered to hand over any earnings from a private autograph-signing event to the mother of Ronald Goldman because of a civil verdict that found Simpson liable for his slaying.

Simpson, served with the court papers Saturday before he left the St. Louis suburb of Bridgeton, suggested he would not pay anything to Ronald Goldman's mother, Sharon Rufo.

It was unclear whether any autographs were signed, however, since the organizer canceled the event before it began upon learning Rufo lived in the area.

Simpson was acquitted of murder charges in the 1994 stabbing deaths of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Goldman. A civil jury in 1997 held the former football star liable for the killings and ordered him to pay the victims' survivors $33.5 million.

California

Off-duty prison guard killed in confrontation

An off-duty state corrections officer who had been drinking heavily was fatally shot by a sheriff's deputy when he refused to stop pointing a handgun at her, authorities said.

Miles Woodford, 44, who worked at Solano State Prison in Vacaville, was outside his home in the Sacramento suburb of Rio Linda at the time of the shooting early Saturday. Two deputies had been sent to the house to investigate two 911 calls, officials said.

"It's just a tragic event," said Sgt. Lou Fatur, a spokesman for the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

One deputy put Woodford's neighbor, who was carrying a liquor bottle, in the patrol car while the other deputy went up to the house to talk to a female friend of Woodford's. It was then that the deputy saw Woodford come from around the house and point a handgun at her, Fatur said.

"She says, 'Drop the gun. Drop the gun,"' Fatur said. "He advances on her. She fires on him. He goes down."

New York

Stewart's lawyers to seek dismissal today

Lawyers for Martha Stewart and her former stockbroker will try to persuade a federal judge today to throw out some of the charges in their stock-trading trial.

U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum will hear arguments on whether any of the five counts each against them should be dismissed.

The judge on Friday appeared particularly interested in whether to strike the securities fraud count against Stewart. It accuses her of deceiving investors in her media conglomerate, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

Besides securities fraud, the remaining counts relate to whether Stewart tried to cover up the true reason Stewart sold 3,928 shares of ImClone Systems stock on Dec. 27, 2001, just before it took a dive.

California

Mardi Gras celebrations take a violent turn

Mardi Gras celebrations turned violent when partygoers threw bottles and rocks at police, who responded by firing rubber bullets and tear gas and arresting as many as 60 people, officials said.

The rowdy revelers started hurling beads, bottles, cans, road cones and even a steel pipe at officers late Saturday after police broke up two large parties at an apartment complex near the California State Polytechnic University's San Luis Obispo campus.

An estimated crowd of about 5,000 was dispersed by police officers and sheriff's deputies.

Police said 50 to 60 people had been arrested by midnight, but there were no reports of anyone being injured.

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