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News Briefs

Rwanda to Get Help From Stars, Advertising Agencies


A new multimedia public service campaign for the American Red Cross to raise money for Rwandan relief will break next week on TV and radio as well as in magazines and 5,000 movie theaters across the country.

The campaign represents an unprecedented effort by five major advertising agencies and two management and production companies. Together, they have formed the Crisis Coalition, dedicated solely to raising money for the cause. The ads will feature such celebrities as Jodie Foster, Richard Gere, Nicolas Cage, Edie Brickell and Vanessa Williams and will urge Americans to send aid to Rwanda.

A two- to three-minute ad produced by the coalition will run in 5,000 movie theaters and features a new song, "Don't Turn Away," sung by Richie Havens. The ad juxtaposes images of Americans living peaceful, routine lives with those of tragedy and pain in Rwanda. Another ad features the theme "There is no 911 in Rwanda."

Ad agencies participating in the coaltion are Grey Advertising; Korey Kay & Partners; Messner, Vetere, Berger, McNamee, Schmetterer; Partners & Shevack; Wells Rich Greene BDDP; and commercial production and management companies D&H MacGuffin Films Ltd. and Brillstein/Grey.

Policeman Who Beat Rodney King Hired as Community Service Officer

Los Angeles Times

Timothy E. Wind, the rookie police officer who repeatedly struck and kicked Rodney G. King in the videotaped beating that shook Los Angeles, has been hired as a community service officer by the Culver City Police Department, officials said Thursday.

Wind, who was fired by the Los Angeles Police Department after the 1991 beating but acquitted of criminal charges, will not carry a gun in his new position and is not considered a sworn peace officer, said officials in the city adjacent to Los Angeles.

Wind started work Tuesday on the 35-hour-a-week job, which D'Anjou said pays $9.32 an hour. Earlier this summer, Wind had sought reinstatement in the LAPD and had won a captain's recommendation that he be rehired. But that idea was quickly shot down by Chief Willie L. Williams.

Two of the four officers charged in the King beating were convicted. Laurence M. Powell and Stacey C. Koon were sentenced to 30 months each in federal prison - sentences that may be increased after an appeals court ruling last week. A third officer, Theodore J. Briseno, was acquitted in state and federal courts but was later fired from the police department. King filed a civil lawsuit and was awarded $3.8 million.

Student of War Graduates On Rwanda Battlefields

The Washington Post
KIGALI, Rwanda

Paul Kagame, 37, Rwanda's vice president and defense minister, participated in a U.S. government program that brought officers from numerous countries to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., for military education.

But his studies at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College were cut short in October 1990 when the Rwandan Patriotic Front launched its first offensive against a Hutu-led government in Rwanda.

Kagame's leadership this spring as commander of the Front won praise from military strategists.

"Kagame is an intellectual figure. I would rate him as a first-rate operational fighter," said Col. Jim McDonough, commander of American forces in Rwanda and a former director of the U.S. Army School for Advanced Military Studies.Kagame was born in Rwanda but, like thousands of Tutsis, fled with his family at an early age into neighboring Uganda after a Hutu revolt overthrew the Tutsi monarchy in 1959 and sent thousands of Tutsis into exile. Many of these same Tutsis, Kagame among them, were opposed to the oppressive regime of Ugandan dictator Milton Obote and joined the rebellion that brought Yoweri Museveni to power in that country in 1986.

U.S. Appropriations for Foreign Commitments Escalates

The Washington Post

With the Pentagon's relief mission in Rwanda and the refugee interdiction effort in the Caribbean, the Clinton administration has undertaken open-ended commitments costing millions of dollars a day without agreement on how to pay for them.

Administration officials and congressional sources this week described a scramble to calculate how much the operations actually cost and to identify sources of funding, as several agencies tried to fight off efforts to raid their budgets.

Congress has appropriated $50 million for refugee relief in Rwanda and another $170 million is pending in the fiscal 1995 defense appropriations bill. But $151 million had already been spent as of a week ago, administration officials said, and no end is in sight as refugees continue to flee Rwanda for camps in Zaire.

The fiscal picture is even murkier in the Caribbean. No funds have been made available for the massive campaign to intercept, transport, feed and house tens of thousands of Cubans and Haitians who have been sent to camps at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Pentagon spokesman Dennis Boxx said this week that $230 million has been spent on the Haitian refugees alone in the current fiscal year. That figure is certain to grow rapidly because the number of Cubans at Guantanamo Bay already is nearly equal to the number of Haitians.

Total spending seems certain to rise into the billions of dollars because even if no more refugees are interned, those already at Guantanamo will have to be cared for until the governments in their home countries change.