This Week

"This Week" Continued...

Issue: "Exodus from Disney," Nov. 7, 1998

WORLD in brief

Enjoy your visit
Britain's high court ruled Oct. 28 that Augusto Pinochet is immune from prosecution in British courts. It ordered the British government to pay the former Chilean dictator's legal fees of $560,000 after British authorities acted upon two Spanish arrest warrants and sought Gen. Pinochet's extradition to face charges of murder, kidnapping, and torturing political opponents during his 17-year dictatorship. Enabling the new holocaust
Germany's highest court ordered Bavaria to join the rest of the country and permit abortion clinics to operate. A Bavarian law prohibiting the clinics was overruled by the Constitutional Court, which said the law was detrimental to women's health by forcing them to travel to get an abortion.

NATO brinkmanship

With the finger of NATO poised over the trigger, Serbian forces battling ethnic Albanians pulled back from Kosovo. Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic gave a face-saving nod to Western negotiators, who had promised NATO air strikes on Serb targets if Mr. Milosevic did not relent and bring his troops home. Officials from the U.S. government and the United Nations said the diplomacy might have averted a wintertime tragedy. The number of ethnic Albanian refugees living in the woods without shelter has dropped from 50,000 in early September to about 10,000. They also estimate that 300,000 people who fled their homes when Serbs began their offensive against the province's ethnic-Albanian majority in February have returned to villages. Most are living with friends or relatives and some have gone home. Staff for Christian agencies serving in Kosovo report that many of their workers never left. Mennonite Central Committee helpers ignored evacuation orders for Americans living in the area and have continued to prepare and distribute refugee kits to homeless Albanians. Bread of Life, a humanitarian agency of evangelical churches based in Belgrade, also delivered aid in spite of obvious political dangers for Serb-based workers. "A Christian's best witness to unbelieving neighbors is calmness in the face of danger," said Bread of Life's Beba Varga.

Technical difficulties

The Dallas-based Cathedral of Hope, America's largest homosexual megachurch, is suing Chicago superstation WGN-TV because the station wouldn't run the Cathedral's infomercial titled "Holy Homosexuals." Among other cable networks only VH-1 would agree to air the program-but only before sunup. WGN allegedly reneged on a $12,000 contract to show the program because it was too controversial. Losing the TV time freed up an extra $12,000 to help church officials pour on the PR, including a well-attended press conference and video news release. The story hit the wires immediately and The New York Times and Chicago Tribune carried stories. Proskauer Rose, one of Manhattan's largest law firms, filed the congregation's lawsuit. "We wanted mostly to reach out to lesbian and gay teenagers but also people living in rural areas, to tell them there is this possibility that you can be gay and Christian," said Michael Piazza, the group's senior pastor.

Nation in brief

We want PCs
Despite a struggling global economy, personal computer sales continued to grow during the third quarter of 1998, according to two market-research companies. The companies released data showing that more than 22.6 million personal computers-including 9.5 million in the United States-were shipped during the third quarter of 1998, an increase of 13.7 percent over the same period last year. Meanwhile, IBM unveiled its new "Pacific Blue" computer, the world's fastest at 3.9 trillion calculations per second. Someone using a handheld calculator would have to punch numbers for 63,000 years to do what the new supercomputer can do in one second. Be afraid; be very afraid
Documents from the Paula Jones lawsuit, unsealed last week, revealed that Monica Lewinsky's lawyers feared federal perjury charges for their client. The attorneys pleaded with Judge Susan Webber Wright to block Miss Lewinsky's testimony so she wouldn't be forced to invoke her right against self-incrimination. The documents also show that shortly after President Clinton pledged full cooperation in the Lewinsky case in late January, his attorney objected to Kenneth Starr's efforts to obtain data from Mrs. Jones's sexual harassment lawsuit. Can't be too careful
An 8-year-old Oregon boy was suspended from school last week for singing a violent parody of a Barney & Friends song. Barney, a purple dinosaur seen on PBS, is best known for the ditty: "I love you, you love me, we're a happy family." The version sung by Douglas Mansfield III began: "I hate you, you hate me." Then he added "Let's kill -," filling in the names of classmates at Schirle Elementary School. Following school shootings across the nation, the school has maintained a zero-tolerance policy regarding violence and threats.

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