Daily Sitka Sentinel (Newspaper) - February 4, 2013, Sitka, Alaska Page 8 Daily Sitka Sentinel, Sitka, Alaska, Monday, February 4, 2013 Offi cers Storm Bunker,
Rescue 5- Year- Old Boy
Beating, Killing Spark
Protests of Egypt Police
Syria Opposition Chief
Renews Offer to Assad
French Troops to Leave
Timbuktu, Move North
Pakistani Girl Shot by
Taliban Speaks on Video
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CAIRO ( AP) — The video outraged
Egyptians, showing riot police strip and
beat a middle- aged man and drag him
across the pavement as they cracked
down on protesters. The follow- up was
even more startling: In his fi rst com ments
afterward, the man insisted the
police were just trying to help him.
Hamada Saber’s account, which
he has since acknowledged was false,
has raised accusations that police intimidated
or bribed him in a clumsy attempt
to cover up the incident, which
was captured by Associated Press footage
widely shown on Egyptian TV.
“ He was terrifi ed. He was scared to
speak,” Saber’s son Ahmed told The AP
on Monday. Saber recanted his story on
Sunday after his family pushed him to
tell the truth and acknowledge that the
police beat him.
The incident has fueled an outcry
that security forces, notorious for corruption,
torture and abuse under former
President Hosni Mubarak, have not
changed in the nearly two years since
his ouster. Activists now accuse Mubarak’s
Islamist successor, Mohammed
Morsi, of cultivating the same culture
of abuse as police crack down on his
Egyptian relatives of Mohammed Saad, a 20- year- old protester who died
of wounds sustained during clashes last Friday near the presidential palace,
grieve during a funeral procession in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt,
Feb. 4. ( AP Photo/ Amr Nabil)
The outcry was further heightened
Monday by the apparent torture- death
of an activist, who colleagues say was
taken by police from a Tahrir Square
protest on Jan. 27 and held at a Cairo
security base known as Red Mountain.
Mohammed el- Gindy’s body showed
marks of electrical shocks on his
tongue, wire marks around his neck,
smashed ribs, a broken skull and a
brain hemorrhage, according to a medical
Blatant abuses by security forces
under Mubarak were one factor that
fueled the 2011 revolt against his rule.
The highly public nature of the new
cases put new pressure on Morsi, who
hails from the Muslim Brotherhood,
which was long repressed by security
forces, to hold security offi cials re sponsible
for any abuses.
Egypt’s presidency said it was following
up on el- Gindy’s death, adding
that there will be “ no return to violations
of citizens’ rights.”
The Interior Ministry denied that el-
Gindy was ever held by police. Morsi
met with top police offi cials Monday,
but the state newspaper Al- Ahram said
DAMASCUS, Syria ( AP) — The
leader of Syria’s main opposition
group urged President Bashar Assad
on Monday to respond to his offer for
a dialogue, insisting he is ready to sit
down with members of the regime despite
sharp criticism from some of his
Mouaz al- Khatib, leader of the
Western- backed Syrian National Coalition,
said he is extending his hand
to the regime to “ facilitate its peaceful
departure.” And some anti- regime activists
are behind him, threatening even
deeper fractures in the already divided
movement to oust Assad.
Al- Khatib’s offer, fi rst made last
week, marks a departure from the mainstream
opposition’s narrative insisting
that Assad step down before any talks.
It has angered some of his colleagues
who accuse him of acting unilaterally.
It is likely to be rejected by Syr ian
offi cials who insist Assad will stay
in power at least until his term ends
in mid- 2014. And even if accepted,
he will likely not have broad enough
backing among the opposition to make
any deal meaningful. More than 60,000
people have been killed since the uprising
against Assad began almost two
years ago. The revolt, which began with
largely peaceful protests, has turned
into civil war now locked in a deadly
stalemate with sectarian overtones.
Al- Khatib’s overture refl ects the
realization among some opposition
leaders that a victory is unlikely to be
achieved on the battlefi eld as well as
disillusionment with an international
community that has largely failed to
stem the bloodshed and has balked at
military intervention to help topple Assad.
“ The major powers have no vision.
... Only the Syrian people can fi nd a
solution to this crisis,” he said in an
interview with Qatari- based Al- Jazeera
His initiative follows meetings he
held separately with Russian, U. S. and
Iranian offi cials on the sidelines of a
security conference in Munich over the
weekend. Russia and Iran are Syria’s
two closest allies.
MIDLAND CITY, Ala. ( AP) — Of fi
cers stormed an underground bunker
in Alabama where a 5- year- old boy had
been held hostage for nearly a week,
rescuing the child and leaving the boy’s
abductor dead, offi cials said Monday.
Steve Richardson with the FBI’s of fi
ce in Mobile said at a news confer ence
Monday afternoon that negotiations
had deteriorated with 65- year- old
Jimmy Lee Dykes. Dykes, who a week
earlier had abducted the child from a
school bus after fatally shooting the
driver, had been seen with a gun. Offi -
cers believed the boy was in imminent
danger, Richardson said.
Offi cers stormed the bunker just af ter
3 p. m. CST to rescue the child, who
was taken to a hospital in nearby Do than.
Offi cials have said the child has
However, it was not immediately
clear how Dykes died.
Daryle Hendry, who lives about a
quarter- mile from where Dykes’ bunker
was located, said he heard a boom
Monday afternoon, followed by what
sounded like a gunshot, all around the
time offi cials said they stormed the
Melissa Nighton, the city clerk in
Midland City, said a woman had been
praying in the town center Monday
afternoon. Not long after, the mayor
called her with news that Dykes was
dead and that the boy was safe.
“ She must have had a direct line to
God because shortly after she left, they
heard the news,” Nighton said.
Neighbors described Dykes as a
man who once beat a dog to death with
a lead pipe, threatened to shoot children
for setting foot on his property,
and patrolled his yard at night with a
fl ashlight and a fi rearm.
Government records and interviews
with neighbors indicate that Dykes
joined the Navy in Midland City, serving
on active duty from 1964 to 1969.
His record shows several awards, including
the Vietnam Service Medal and
the Good Conduct Medal. During his
service, Dykes was trained in aviation
He had some scrapes with the law
in Florida, including a 1995 arrest for
improper exhibition of a weapon. The
misdemeanor was dismissed. He also
was arrested for marijuana possession
He returned to Alabama about two
years ago, moving onto the rural tract
about 100 yards from his nearest neighbors.
LONDON ( AP) — In her fi rst video
statement since she was nearly killed, a
Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban
remained defi ant in arguing for girls’
education, saying Monday she would
keep up the same campaign that led to
Speaking clearly but with the left
side of her face appearing rigid, 15-
year- old Malala Yousufzai said she is
“ getting better, day by day” after undergoing
weeks of treatment at a British
“ I want to serve. I want to serve the
people. I want every girl, every child,
to be educated. For that reason, we
have organized the Malala Fund,” she
said in the video, made available by a
public relations fi rm.
Malala drew the world’s attention
when she was shot in the head by Taliban
militants on Oct. 9 while on her
way home from school in northwestern
Pakistan. The Islamist group said it targeted
her because she promoted girls’
education and “ Western thinking” and
criticized the militant group’s behavior
when it took over the scenic Swat Valley
where she lived.
The shooting sparked outrage in
Pakistan and many other countries, and
her story has captured global attention
for the struggle for women’s rights in
her homeland. In a sign of her impact,
the teen made the shortlist for Time
magazine’s “ Person of the Year” for
“ Today you can see that I am alive.
I can speak, I can see you, I can see everyone,”
TIMBUKTU, Mali ( AP) — In a
new phase of the Mali confl ict, French
airstrikes targeted the fuel depots and
desert hideouts of Islamic extremists
in northern Mali overnight Monday, as
French forces planned to hand control
of Timbuktu to the Malian army this
After taking control of the key cities
of northern Mali, forcing the Islamic
rebels to retreat into the desert, the
French military intervention is turning
away from the cities and targeting
the fi ghters’ remote outposts to prevent
them from being used as Saharan launch
pads for international terrorism.
The French plan to leave the city
of Timbuktu on Thursday, Feb. 7, a
spokeswoman for the armed forces in
the city said Monday. French soldiers
took the city last week after Islamic
extremists withdrew. Now the French
military said it intends to move out
of Timbuktu in order to push farther
northeast to the strategic city of Gao.
“ The 600 soldiers currently based in
Timbuktu will be heading toward Gao
in order to pursue their mission,” said
Capt. Nadia, the spokeswoman, who
only provided her fi rst name in keeping
with French military protocol. She said
that the force in Timbuktu will be replaced
by a small contingent of French
soldiers, though she declined to say
when they would arrive.
On Monday, French troops in armored
personnel carriers were still patrolling
Timbuktu. In the city’s military
camps, newly arrived Malian troops
were cleaning their weapons Monday
and holding meetings to prepare to take
over the security of the city once the
There are signs that the Islamic
rebels are beginning a guerrilla- type
of confl ict from their desert retreats
as land mine explosions have killed
four Malian soldiers and two civilians
throughout the northern region in recent
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tiative petition to put that question on
the ballot in 2008. The sale to Silver
Bay Seafoods would not have been
affected, but if passed the initiative
would have applied to such land sales
in the future.
The city clerk rejected the petition
on several grounds, including that the
language was misleading and confusing.
SRG sued, Superior Court Judge
David George upheld the city’s ruling,
and the case ended up in the state Supreme
Court. Last April the Supreme
Court reversed George’s ruling, and
sent the case back to him to decide issues
in the SRG appeal that he had not
addressed in his original ruling.
Michael Gatti, an Anchorage lawyer
the city hired to help with the case,
and Municipal Attorney Theresa Hillhouse
represented the city in Friday’s
hearing. SRG was represented by Juneau
attorney Joe Geldhof.
Gatti argued a public vote on a land
sale would be giving the voters power
to make an appropriation, which Alaska
law says is not permissible in a citizen
He cited a Supreme Court ruling
( ACT v. Kenai Borough) in which the
court ruled that initiative process could
not be used to approve or veto capital
projects. He argued that decisions affecting
the industrial park require “ tremendous
expertise” that should be handled
at the administrative level, with a
fi nal decision made by the Assembly
Also, he said, the city’s position is
justifi ed by the need to protect public
health and safety.
“ The sale of land is clearly within
the ACT case,” Gatti said. “ ACT is really
on point here.”
He said granting the SRG demand
for elections on land issues would interfere
with the Assembly’s functions
and its ability to protect and follow the
Arguing for SRG, Geldhof said the
case goes to the heart of a citizen’s right
to directly enact legislation. He said the
city is engaging in a “ full- on defense
against the right of citizens to do this,
and any encroachment on elected lawmakers’
decision- making powers.”
“ What’s wrong with allowing the
citizens to have their say?” he said.
The ballot question itself is not an appropriation,
and citizens already have
the right to approve or veto sales and
leases of city land in Sitka, he said.
He said the SCIP parcel is not particularly
special, and is managed with
the consultation of citizen volunteers.
“ Jeff and Mike’s proposal does
not destroy that, it does not undo the
special development area,” Geldhof
said. Later he added, “( They) are not
hotheaded reactionary folks trying to
eliminate the function of government.”
Geldhof added that SRG is only
asking for the right to put their question
on the ballot, so the issue of whether a
public vote on a land sale is an appropriation
is not before the court. ACT,
therefore, does not apply, he said.
“ ACT is not controlling,” Geldhof
The day prior to the hearing Judge
George issued a ruling dismissing one
of the city’s arguments in the case,
the allegation that the language of the
proposed initiative was confusing and
misleading to voters.
In its April 20 ruling on other aspects
of the case, the Supreme Court
said the language of the petition was
not unclear or misleading, and Judge
George quoted that language in his Jan.
31 decision. In that decision the high
court also ruled that the petition was
not contrary to law, and rejected the
city’s claim that the issues in the case
The city had argued in its original
brief that the last date at which an election
on the petition could be held was
in October 2008. The Supreme Court
said in its April 20 decision that the
SRG complaint “ does not request inclusion
in any particular election,” and
there continued to be “ a live, defi nite
and concrete controversy ... touching
on the parties’ legal rights, and concerning
that will seek out the truth about the
real Richard III,” she said.
Langley, who helped launch the
search for the king, said she could
scarcely believe her quest had paid off.
“ Everyone thought that I was mad,”
she said. “ It’s not the easiest pitch in
the world, to look for a king under a
council car park.”
The location of Richard’s body was
unknown for centuries. He died in August
1485 at the Battle of Bosworth
Field in the English Midlands, and records
say he was buried by the Franciscan
monks of Grey Friars at their
church in Leicester, 100 miles ( 160
kilometers) north of London.
The church was closed and dismantled
after King Henry VIII dissolved
the monasteries in 1538, and its location
eventually was forgotten by most
There were tales that the king’s
bones had been dug up and thrown in a
nearby river in the 16th century.
Then last year a team led by University
of Leicester archaeologist Richard
Buckley identifi ed a possible location
of the grave through map regression
analysis, starting with a current map of
the general area of the former church
and analyzing earlier maps to discover
what had changed and not changed.
Ground- penetrating radar was used to
fi nd the best places to start digging.
The team began excavating in a
parking lot last August. Within a week
they had located thick walls and the re mains
of tiled fl oors. Soon after, they
found human remains — the skeleton
of an adult male who appeared to have
died in battle.
He had been buried unceremonious ly,
with no coffi n or shroud — plausible
for a despised and defeated enemy.
Increasingly excited, the researchers
set out to conduct a battery of scientifi c
tests, including radiocarbon dating to
determine the skeleton’s age, to see
whether, against the odds, they really
had found the king.
They found the skeleton belonged to
a man in his late 20s to late 30s who
died between 1455 and 1540. Richard
was 32 when he died in 1485.
Archaeological bone specialist Jo
Appleby, a lecturer in human bioarchaeology
at Leicester, said study of
the bones provided “ a highly convinc ing
case for identifi cation of Richard
Appleby said the 10 injuries to the
body were infl icted by weapons such as
swords, daggers and halberds and were
consistent with accounts of Richard
being struck down in battle — his helmet
knocked from his head — before
his body was stripped naked and fl ung
over the back of a horse in disgrace.
Appleby said two of the blows to
On Wednesday, along with HJR4,
House Judiciary is set to hear HB24,
which would allow for use of deadly
force in self- defense, in any place the
person has a right to be. Rep. Mark
Neuman, R- Big Lake, has tried for
years, without success, to get the bill
passed. Debate over his proposal last
year came amid controversy over
“ Stand Your Ground” laws following
the deadly shooting of a Florida teenager.
— GAS: House Resources is sched uled
to hold its fi rst hearing Monday on
HB4, a measure Reps. Mike Hawker,
R- Anchorage, and Mike Chenault, RNikiski,
aimed at advancing an in- state
natural gas pipeline project. The bill is
a priority for Chenault, Alaska’s House
speaker, who has said the in- state project
looks to be the only pipeline project
moving forward in Alaska. A different
version of the bill died last year in the
Senate, where concerns were raised
about the power that would have been
given to the group behind the project,
the cost and what customers would
students between private, religious and
public schools, eventually improving
education all the way around.
It “ infuses competition into a monopoly,”
said supporter Rep. Lynn Gattis,
R- Wasilla, the chairwoman of the
House Education Committee.
Citing studies from the Friedman
Foundation, Keller said the amendment
“ actually introduces more money into,
The National Education Association
of Alaska, the major teachers union in
the state, staunchly opposes the plan
and doubts Keller’s assumption.
“ It’s frustrating to see that the leadership
of Alaska seems to be engaged in
helping for- profi t companies increase
their profi ts, and at the same time are
holding education — public education
in Alaska — hostage,” union president
Ron Fuhrer said.
youth and helping rehabilitate young
people who have already perpetrated
crimes. In January, Minneapolis also
hosted a regional summit on gun vio lence
for elected offi cials from around
Minneapolis Police Chief Janee
Harteau and Hennepin County Sheriff
Richard Stanek are also among the of fi
cials Obama has consulted as he pur sues
his anti- gun violence measures.
Stanek has also been leading a
group of Minnesota sheriffs pushing
for stronger background checks for
people trying to buy guns.
The ban on assault weapons faces
more obstacles in Congress, where
Republicans and some Democrats
are aligned against it. Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid said on ABC’s
“ This Week” Sunday that he’s willing
to take a look at legislation that would
ban certain semi- automatic weapons,
but he also noted that he voted against
a ban on such weapons in 1994 because
it “ didn’t make sense.”
In Friday’s 90- minute hearing
George asked the attorneys a number
of questions as they outlined their positions,
and announced at the end that he
was taking the case under advisement.
Mike Litman and Jeff Farvour,
the named appellants in the case, and
a handful of other observers were in
court for Friday’s hearing. Offi cial ju dicial
proceedings continue to refer to
the case as “ Sitkans for Responsible
Government v. Sitka,” even though
SRG, an informal organization, has
been disallowed as a party to the suit.
the head could have been fatal. Other
scars, including a knife wound to the
buttock, bore the hallmarks of “ humili ation
injuries” infl icted after death.
The remains also displayed signs of
scoliosis, a form of spinal curvature,
consistent with contemporary accounts
of Richard’s appearance, though not the
withered arm Shakespeare describes.
DNA from the skeleton matched a
sample taken from Michael Ibsen, a
distant living relative of Richard’s sister.
The project’s lead geneticist, Turi
King, said Ibsen, a Canadian carpenter
living in London, shares with the skeleton
a rare strain of mitochondrial DNA.
The same DNA group also matches a
second living descendant, who wants
to remain anonymous.
King said that between 1 and 2 percent
of the population belongs to this
genetic sub- group, so the DNA evi dence
is not defi nitive proof in itself of
the skeleton’s identity. But combined
with the archaeological evidence, it left
little doubt the skeleton belonged to
Ibsen, a 17th great- grand- nephew
of Richard’s older sister, said he was
“ stunned” by the discovery.
“ It’s diffi cult to digest,” he said.
Some scientists felt qualms about
the haste with which the Leicester
team announced its results. The fi nd ings
have not been published in peer reviewed
scientifi c journals, though the
university said they soon would be.
“ It’s a bizarre way of going about
things,” said Mark Horton, a professor
of archaeology at the University
of Bristol — although he said “ overwhelming
identifi ed the skeleton as Richard’s.
Archaeologist Mike Pitts, editor of
British Archaeology magazine, also
said he found the evidence persuasive.
“ I don’t think there is any question.
It is Richard III,” said Pitts, who was
not affi liated with the research team.
The discovery is a boon for the city
of Leicester, which has bought a building
next to the parking lot to serve as a
visitor center and museum.
On Monday, the king’s skeleton lay
in a glass box in a meeting room within
the university library. It was a browned,
fragile- looking thing, its skull pocked
with injuries, missing its feet — which
scientists say were disturbed sometime
after burial — and with a pronounced
s- shape to the spine.
Soon the remains will be moved
to an undisclosed secure location, and
next year Richard will, at last, get a
king’s burial, interred with pomp and
ceremony in Leicester Cathedral.
It is a day Langley, of the Richard
III Society, has dreamed of seeing.
“ We have searched for him, we have
found him — it is now time to honor
him,” she said.