Camera never blinks
Two sheriff's deputies are under investigation after they were videotaped clubbing a Mexican man and woman. Television news helicopters tracked the deputies chasing a pickup truck crammed with 21 suspected illegal immigrants. The truck pulled over after a 70-mile chase. One deputy was taped clubbing the driver in the back. The woman was hit when she got out of the cab.
Man knows not his time
The bodies of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and 32 other Americans arrived at Dover, Del., April 6 aboard two Air Force transport jets. An Air Force passenger plane carrying Mr. Brown and his delegation veered off course and crashed during high winds and driving rain into a cloud-covered hill April 3 near Dubrovnik, Croatia. Early reports blame the crash on Croatia's crude air traffic control systems that utilize low-frequency radio beacons to help pilots chart a landing course during bad weather. Such beacons are subject to disturbance from lightning, rain, and static electricity. Unlike more modern systems, the older radio beacons do not provide the pilot a warning if they give erroneous information because of interference. In Washington April 4, a special prosecutor announced he has closed the investigation into Mr. Brown's financial affairs and will decide soon how to dispose of those parts of the probe involving the late commerce secretary's son and business associates. Special prosecutor Daniel Pearson has been investigating why Mr. Brown received more than $300,000 from a business associate and whether he tried to hide the payments. President Clinton spoke at the April 6 arrival ceremony in Dover and on April 4 eulogized Mr. Brown at a memorial service in Washington's St. John's Episcopal Church. Mr. Clinton led the mourners in a responsive reading from the 40th chapter of the book of Isaiah. Verse 8 says, "The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever." Also on board the plane that killed Mr. Brown and government and business officials was New York Times reporter Nathaniel Nash, a believer in Christ. WORLD columnist Cal Thomas, a friend and former colleague of Mr. Nash, said, "Nathaniel's faith complimented and influenced his pursuit of truth.... [T]he source of his decency, courage, and high ethical standards was his relationship to Christ."
"Hermit on the hill"
After his mother and brother found disturbing evidence while cleaning her Lombard, Ill., house, former University of California, Berkeley, mathematician Theodore John Kaczynski, 53, was arrested by the FBI and charged with the Unabomber attacks that killed three people and injured 23 over the past 18 years. Mr. Kaczynski, known by Montana locals as "the hermit on the hill," was taken into custody by federal agents, who then reported finding bomb-making materials and one live bomb in his tiny 10-by-12 wilderness shack that lacks electricity or plumbing. Investigators last week found a typewriter which The New York Times says may have been used to type the Unabomber's 35,000-word diatribe against industrial society. They also say they hope to match DNA from saliva on stamps licked by the Unabomber to the Harvard-trained Mr. Kaczynski.
"My name can't show up on this"
The biggest highlight of the Whitewater trial came April 2, when the Whitewater prosecutor's star witness gave sworn testimony that President Clinton received money from a fraudulent, taxpayer-secured federal loan. It was the first time that it has been alleged publicly and under oath that the president benefited from an illegal Whitewater-related transaction. Nevertheless, through his lawyer, Mr. Clinton said he shall stand by his story that he engaged in no wrongdoing. The witness, David Hale, said that he had agreed at one point during his discussions with Mr. Clinton and Whitewater business partner James McDougal in early 1986 to lend $150,000 to Mr. McDougal's wife, Susan, but that the money would go to Mr. Clinton. Mr. Hale testified that Mr. Clinton said, "My name can't show up on this," and Mr. McDougal responded, "I've already taken care of that." He said McDougal called him after the meeting and told him to double the loan amount to $300,000 and make it payable to Mrs. McDougal's marketing business. Day four of Mr. Hale's testimony, April 4, featured the allegation that Jim Guy Tucker, now the governor of Arkansas, directed him to conceal their financial dealings from the FBI. Mr. Hale testified that in 1989 Mr. Tucker told him, "Be careful what you say and tell them as little as you can." If Mr. Hale had told the FBI details of federally backed loans he had made, "they would have locked up me and Jim Guy that day and sent the paddy wagon to get Jim McDougal," Mr. Hale said. Mr. Hale testified he got a call from an upset Mr. Tucker in the spring of 1993 when a national newspaper story touched on one of the loans that is now part of the criminal case against Mr. Tucker and the McDougals-the loan to Castle Sewer and Water, a Tucker-controlled utility. "The article discloses some facts no member of the Arkansas press has an IQ high enough to dig out," Mr. Hale quoted Mr. Tucker as saying. According to Mr. Hale's testimony, Mr. Tucker said, "Don't talk to anyone in the press. I'll shut the locals down." Mr. Tucker denies all of Mr. Hale's allegations. On cross-examination, Mr. McDougal's lawyer Sam Heuer elicited no testimony to the contrary, but roughed up Mr. Hale in front of the jury. "You're slick. You're good," Mr. Heuer said. "I've never cross-examined anyone as slick as you." Mr. Heuer also suggested Mr. Hale, who has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for defrauding the government in connection with the loans, is merely a criminal trying to drag Mr. Clinton, Mr. Tucker, and the McDougals down with him in exchange for his testimony. Mr. Hale responded, "I've done a lot of wrong things and I am sorry for it," but he insisted the four were involved in illegal loans. Mr. Heuer also questioned Mr. Hale closely about the fact that he was twice turned down for loans at the McDougal-run Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan. Mr. Heuer's point was that if there was a conspiracy among Hale, the McDougals, and Mr. Tucker, then Mr. Hale should have had ready access to cash from the S&L. In the late 1980s, after regulators removed Mr. McDougal in 1986 from Madison's operations, Mr. Hale said he was fearful that investigators looking into Madison's books would look at his company and make a connection between the two.
Clinton's Iran-Bosnia arms deal
Off the record, Clinton administration officials April 5 confirmed a Los Angeles Times report-also citing anonymous sources-from the previous day that despite the president's public opposition to lifting the U.N. embargo on arms to Bosnia, the White House gave tacit approval to secret shipments of Iranian weapons to Bosnia in 1994. The president of Croatia that year asked administration officials whether he should allow the Iranians to ship arms through Croatia to the Bosnian Muslims. "Our response was basically that we took no position on that," the Associated Press quoted an unnamed White House official as saying. He said he was unable to confirm whether President Clinton personally approved the decision. But, the source added, the U.N. resolutions "didn't mandate that countries actively enforce [the embargo] against third countries."
Back at the ranch
After being holed up since March 25 at a 960-acre Montana ranch, about two dozen so-called Freemen last week showed signs of cracking, as 100 FBI agents kept vigil around their compound. The fugitives met for the first time with negotiators April 4, easing fears that the siege of their wheat and sheep farm might end in bloodshed. The standoff began after federal agents arrested two Freemen leaders. A third member of the group surrendered to FBI agents. The Freemen face federal charges of writing millions of dollars in bogus checks and money orders, and threatening to kidnap and murder a federal judge involved in the foreclosure of their farm. By April 6, a federal prosecutor said negotiations with the group were progressing toward a possible resolution; the announcement came after two group members, a woman and her daughter, voluntarily left the ranch April 5.
On a muddy hillside April 4, U.N. investigators stacked up rows of blindfolds, seen as evidence that victims of an ethnic massacre lie buried there. Survivors have said up to 7,000 men were killed by the Bosnian Serbs who overran the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica last summer. Meanwhile, another mass grave in northern Bosnia contained 181 bodies, including women killed in their nightgowns. All but one of the bodies-thought to be Serbs killed by Croats last fall-showed signs of violent death.
Walking a political tightrope
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat apologized April 5 for a police raid of a West Bank university campus, where his security forces fired tear gas and clubbed students last weekend as part of a crackdown on Islamic militants. Palestinian police arrested more than 900 followers of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups in response to four suicide bombings in Israel between Feb. 25 and March 4. While continuing the crackdown, Mr. Arafat reportedly also renewed his contacts with Hamas in hopes of persuading the group to stop its attacks on Israel.
Censorship at the Times
Respected cartoonist and committed Christian Johnny Hart-internationally known for his long-running B.C. and The Wizard of Id comic strips-has been at odds with The Los Angeles Times for years, although it was only last week that the conflict got any real publicity. When, as in the past, the Times refused to run Mr. Hart's Palm Sunday strip (in which B.C. character "Wiley" recites a poem containing implicit references to Christ's death), Mr. Hart said enough is enough. "At one time we [at Creators Syndicate] were ready to pull the strip from the L.A. Times," he told WORLD. "I said, 'I don't need to put up with this junk.' ... But now, I think I'd kind of like to hang around. If we take the strip away from them, they win the victory. If we hang in there, they are just simply exposing themselves. They are showing the world what they are." And that is exactly what happened last week. The Washington Times, Voice of America, The Charlotte Observer, CNN'S "Capital Gang," Moody Broadcasting, and others noted the Times's hypocrisy-how just a week before censoring Mr. Hart's muted and respectful treatment of the Easter theme, the Times had gladly run an editorial cartoon depicting Bob Dole hanging from a cross with the Christian Coalition as his crown of thorns. Regarding the criticism, Times spokeswoman Ariel Remler responded to The Washington Times: "We exercised our editorial judgment." Indeed. Next week's cover story in WORLD will address the Hart vs. Times episode in light of the larger issue of the news media's "editorial judgment" against Christian ideas.
Good Ol' Boys
The Treasury Department removed two Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents April 4 from investigating a series of fires at black churches in the South, saying possible disciplinary action against them for attending the rowdy, racist "Good Ol' Boy Roundup" parties could compromise prosecutions in the church fires. Twelve BATF agents investigating the fires have attended the alcohol-drenched parties, but only two are being considered for punishment due to the level of their participation in the parties. A department official said that although it's not been proven the two agents did anything wrong, the government "has concluded that the appearance of fairness and impartiality requires that they no longer perform investigative work in the case." Federal officials have not found a conspiracy linking 16 black church fires in the South since 1993, but they believe some of the blazes were racially motivated. n Old MacDonald's on his own: For the first time in more than 60 years, farmers this spring will be making their planting decisions without being told by the government what to grow. In a major break from Depression-era farm policies, taxpayer-funded payments to farmers will no longer be tied to changes in crop prices. Under the Republican farm bill, signed into law April 4 by President Clinton, farmers next month will make what likely will be their last applications for taxpayer-funded farm payments. Instead, they will get lump-sum payments that dwindle to zero over seven years. Mr. Clinton said he was signing the bill reluctantly because he doesn't want the subsidies to end.
You'll have to ask again
The first federal appeals court to rule on the Clinton administration's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy upheld the measure April 5, saying openly homosexual service members can be banned from the military. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 9-4 against former Lt. Paul Thomasson, who was discharged from the Navy last June after disclosing his homosexual preferences to his commanding officer. Mr. Thomasson's lawyer, Allan Baron Moore, said, "Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court is going to have to decide these issues."
Yeltsin under fire
Boris Yeltsin has announced a halt to combat operations in Chechnya, along with limited troop withdrawals and a willingness to hold indirect talks with the rebels' leader. But his long-promised peace plan stopped short of promising an end to the fighting, and Russian forces continued to battle the Chechens throughout the country. The peace plan comes just 11 weeks before Russia's presidential election, with the unpopular Mr. Yeltsin trailing Communist Gennady Zyuganov.