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ISSUE 117 VOL 19 PUBLISHED 5/14/2004

News Digest

By Carolyn Brostrom
Staff Writer

Friday, May 14, 2004

CHECHNYA Chechnyan President Akhmad Kadyrov was assassinated Sunday in an bomb blast at a stadium in Grozny that killed five others and injured 57. He was attending celebrations marking Victory Day, a national holiday in Russia marking the 59th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis in World War II. Kadyrov was backed by Russian politicians, and in 2000, the Kremlin appointed him the republic's top civilian administrator.

SYRIA President George W. Bush imposed a series of economic sanctions against Syria, charging that it failed to take action against terrorist groups fighting Israel or to halt the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq. Bush issued an executive order that banned virtually all American exports (except for food and medicine), and barred flights between Syria and the United States (except during emergencies). The president also told the Treasury Department to freeze the assets of Syrians with known ties to terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, the occupation of Lebanon and terrorist activities in Iraq.

WASHINGTON, D.C Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, the Army general who wrote the report detailing abuses of Iraqi detainees by American soldiers, told a Senate panel Wednesday that rampant failures of leadership, training and discipline led to the violations at Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad. A video was released Tuesday showing the beheading of Nicholas Berg, an American citizen, by Islam militants claiming ties to Al-Qaeda. The masked militants claim Bergs execution is vengeance for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers in Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.

WASHINGTON , D.C. Nearly a half-century after the brutal killing of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black youth, in Mississippi, the Justice Department said Monday that it was opening a criminal investigation into the case in light of new evidence. Prosecutors said information uncovered in the filming of two documentaries on the 1955 killing suggested that people besides the two original suspects may have been involved.

TWIN CITIES A ban on smoking in restaurants and bars will be considered in the next legislative hearings. Although voting has not started, supporters of a similar Minneapolis ban have six City Council sponsors on a proposal and appear to be very close to having the seven votes needed for passage. Supporters and opponents find themselves in agreement on one point: a preference that a ban be statewide.

ST. CLOUD Patty Wetterling, mother of Jacob Wetterling, announced her intention to run for Congress. She kicked off her campaign Tuesday in St. Cloud at the school her son attended prior to his abduction nearly 15 years ago. Wetterling, 54, is seeking the Democratic nomination in hopes of unseating Republican Rep. Mark Kennedy in Minnesota's Sixth District. The primary is in September.

 Stories compiled by Staff Writer Carolyn Brostrom.  International stories courtesy of the New York Times.  National stories courtesy of the New York Times.  State stories courtesy of the New York times and Star Tribune.

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