New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 26, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 2A — Herald-Zeitung — Saturday, November 26, 2005
China: Officials blamed for disaster will be punished
HARBIN, China (AP)—China’s leaders sent a team Friday to investigate a chemical plant accident that poisoned a major river, saying officials responsible will be punished as the 3.8 million residents of this northeastern city went a third frigid day without running water.
Hundreds of villagers were being evacuated near Harbin on the Songhua River as toxic benzene flowed past, while a Russian city downstream braced for its arrival. In China’s southwest, some 6,000 people reportedly were evacuated following a second chemical plant explosion, raising fears of a new poisoning disaster.
In Harbin, a line of some 500 people stretching for IOO yards waited in windy, subzero weather in a working class district on the city’s east side for water to come by truck. When a truck with a tank on its bed arrived, residents rushed to GII tea kettles, buckets and basins at a portable tap with Ave spigots.
“Everyone has enough at home for the basics, but they want to add some for washing and cooking," said Guan Hongya, a 54-year-old manager for a textile Arm, who was Ailing buckets to carry back to her third floor, walk-up apartment.
The floor of Quarts kitchen was covered with pots, pans and plastic trash cans that she Ailed with water after the government said supplies would be suspended.From staff, wire reports
CONGRESSMAN TO ATTEND MEETING - U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith will address the Tuesday meeting of the Comal County Republican Mens Club.
Smith, R-San Antonio, has represented District 28, which includes most of Comal County, in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1987.
The Congressman will provide club members and guests an update on recent actions in (Congress and a preview of legislative initiatives expected in the final weeks of the first session of the 109th Congress.
The meeting will be conducted beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative Auditorium on PM 3159.NEW BRAUNFELS
DEADLINE TO FILE FOR DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE WEDNESDAY -
Hurricane Rita evacuees who are eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) have until Wednesday to file a claim.
While the typical registration period is 30 days, Hurricane Rita evacuees were given 60 days for registration due to the unprece
dented scope of the disaster.
The DUA program is administered by the Texas Workforce Commission and funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) through the U.S. Department of Labor. To date, more than $1 million has been disbursed to 7,577 recipients.
To be eligible for help under Presidential Disaster Declaration PEMA-1606-DR, applicants must:
■ I lave worked or been scheduled to work in the disaster area, but because of the disaster no longer have a job, a place to work in the area, or could not get to work because of disaster damage
■ I lave been prevented from working by an injury or illness as a direct result of the disaster
■ Have become the head of the household and need employment because the head of the household died as a result of the disaster.
Self-employed business owners who have lost all or part of their livelihood as a result of hurricanes Katrina or Rita also may be eligible for benefits. To learn if they qualify, applicants can call 800-621-PEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 for the speech or hearing impaired.
Applications can also be made online at www.fema.gov.
MONUMENT TO WAR PROTEST UNVEILED - Anti war demonstrators gathered Friday at the Crawford Peace House for the unveiling of a stone monument with the words “Sheehan’s Stand,” a tribute to the August protest that drew thousands to President Bush’s adopted hometown.
Cindy Sheehan, the fallen soldier’s mother who led the 26-day protest near Bush’s ranch, cried when she saw the 2-foot-high, 4-foot-wide sandstone marker. On the other side of the rectangular monument is the word “Why!" and names of more than two dozen soldiers whose families were part of the August vigil.
“Nobody knew what was going to happen, and we made up Camp Casey as we went along, and it grew and grew and grew," said Sheehan, of Berkeley, Calif., whose son 24-year-old son Casey died in Iraq last year. “I feel like this will always be my home.... But we’re here to say that the killing has to stop, that we’re not going to justify any more killing on our losses.”
Sheehan announced her protest plans while speaking at a Veterans for Peace convention in Dallas on Aug. 5. The next day, she and about 50 others traveled by bus to Crawford, marched
toward Bush’s ranch and spent the night in chairs in ditches, without food or flashlights.NATION
ARMY'S PLANNED SEXUAL ASSAULT DATABASE MEETS WITH OPPOSITION - An
Army plan to develop a database of sexual assaults is meeting some resistance from members of Congress and an advoca cy group who say it could violate victims’ privacy.
In a letter to Army Secretary Francis J. I larvey, 15 members o Congress said the new system would deter sexual assault victims from reporting crimes and seeking treatment, and they asked him not to collect or store any personal information or medical records in the database.
The proposal comes in the wake of sex assault scandals in the military and ongoing efforts by the Pentagon to respond to those problems. The Air Force Academy in Colorado is still struggling to recover from complaints that dozens of female cadets were assaulted and then punished when they reported it. And a recent survey by the Veter ans Affairs Department showed that six in IO women who servec in the National Guard and Reserves say they were sexually harassed or assaulted.
Supreme Court nominees deals with ethics criticism
WASIIINGTON (AP) — fudge Samuel Alito has said he did not break a federal ethics law when he ruled in a case involving the company that handles his mutual fund investments.
Ijegal experts are divided over whether Alito did anything wrong in the case three years ago. Of more immediate concern is his explanation of his role in that case — along with questions about what his recusal practices will be if confirmed to the high court.
Judges, including Supreme Court justices, are required by law to stay out of cases in which they have a financial stake. Members of the high court, however, decide for themselves when to recuse with no oversight.
Alito serves on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia and has most of his money in mutual funds. When he joined the court in 1990 he told senators he would avoid cases in which Vanguard Group was a party.
Senators questioned him about the 2002 Vanguard case, which was the subject of a conflict of interest complaint filed by the woman who lost her lawsuit. Alito withdrew after first ruling against her and the decision was reaffinned without his participation.
Alito and the White House have offered several explanations: that a computer glitch allowed the disqualification issue to slip through undetected, that Alito’s 1990 pledge to
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stay out of Vanguard appeals only applied to his initial service, and that the promise was “unduly restrictive."
“The explanation causes greater concern than the problem," said Stephen (fillers, a professor specializing in legal ethics
at New York University’s School of Ixiw. “It would have all gone away if Judge Alito had said, ‘ Ibis was an oversight.’ People can forgive oversights. We all have them.”
Doug Kendall, executive director of the Community
Rights Counsel, a public interest law firm, said tile response was “inconsistent and somewhat incoherent.”
“His explanation has made it an issue that will continue through the (Senate) hearings,” said Kendall.
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•Subject to credit approval Any insurance charges will be earned from date of sale. Interest charges will be assessed from date of purchase at a maximum APR of 21.8% but the APR may vary. Credit offer good November 24 - 29, 2005. List prices are offering prices only Sales may or may not have occurred Throughout the year advertised merchandise may be available at these or similar sale prices. These prices do not reflect possible occasional markdowns
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