Dispatches > The Buzz

The No Comment Zone

Issue: "Walking the tightrope," Feb. 10, 2001
  • Authorities evacuated over 11,000 students from De Anza College in Cupertino, Calif., after discovering that a student allegedly planned an elaborate mass killing with an arsenal of bombs and weapons. Nineteen-year-old Al DeGuzman faces more than 50 felony counts after police found 30 pipe bombs, 20 Molotov cocktails, several weapons, and ammunition stashed in his bedroom. They also found plans indicating he intended to plant bombs and attack during the lunch hour in the school's main cafeteria. The arrest came after a photo lab clerk contacted them about suspicious pictures of a man posing with what appeared to be an arsenal of explosives.
  • For the first time since 1995, Pakistani courts have ruled in favor Christians accused of blasphemy. A Pakistani high court acquitted three Christians, two years after a neighbor brought blasphemy charges them. The justices found "no valid grounds" for the case, even though police jailed two of the three for allegedly burning the Koran and making derogatory remarks about Islam. The court further ordered an investigation of the Muslim accuser for fabricating evidence.
  • First Mario, now Andrew. The younger Cuomo who was President Clinton's housing secretary, announced plans to run in the 2002 New York gubernatorial race. GOP Gov. George Pataki, who will likely run again, brushed off the announcement, saying he was tired of "the concept of a perpetual campaign. There will be plenty of time for electioneering."
  • Amazon.com, the bellwether of retail e-commerce, plans to lay off 1,300 employees, or 15 percent of its work force, on the road to profitability. The Seattle company expects to cross the mark later this year. A year ago, the company announced its first layoffs-about 150 people. It now employs about 8,500 people worldwide.
  • Georgia hoisted a new flag with a much smaller Confederate emblem, consigning to history the design used since 1956. The old flag is just one of five tiny ones under a state seal and a ribbon that says "Georgia History." Civil-rights groups promised to call off any boycotts in Georgia if the new flag was approved.

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