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News Briefs, part 1

Prosecutors Contend Simpson Surprised by Goldman

The Washington Post

The lead prosecutor in the murder trial of O.J. Simpson said Monday that the former football star went to his ex-wife's house to kill her on the night of June 12 and that his clean getaway was thwarted by an unsuspecting visitor to Nicole Brown Simpson's Brentwood home.

Prosecutor Marcia Clark contended Monday in court that Simpson made the mistake of leaving a bloody glove and wool cap, evidence later found on the blood-soaked sidewalk outside Nicole Simpson's house, because he unexpectedly had to kill Ronald L. Goldman.

Simpson had "one intended target" but when Goldman, a waiter and friend of his former wife, showed up at the scene, Simpson rushed to kill them both, she said. "There was no time to root around that crime scene for evidence," Clark said. "He had to get out and get out fast."

Clark's statement in court was the first hint of how the prosecution will proceed to prove its case against the former football star.

Simpson, 47, faces first-degree murder charges in the slashing deaths of his ex-wife and Goldman. Nicole Simpson, 35, and Goldman, 25, died from multiple deep wounds.

Clark also revealed that some potential evidence in the case - a document found during a search of Simpson's business office - had been shredded by a business assistant of the celebrity after detectives indicated they wanted the document for their investigation.

USAir Crew Missed Vital Signals

The Washington Post

The pilots of the doomed USAir Flight 1016 that crashed here in July missed signals they were entering violently shifting winds and failed to perform a maneuver that would have given them a last-second chance for survival, investigative data indicated Monday.

The data, released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as it began four days of hearings into the July 2 crash, also raised questions about whether air traffic controllers should have delivered more weather information to the crew.

The McDonnell Douglas DC-9 crashed as it attempted to abort its landing, killing 37 people as it plowed through pine woods and slammed into two large oak trees and a house.

Twenty people survived, including Captain Michael R. Greenlee and First Officer James P. Hayes, both experienced pilots with clean records. They are scheduled to testify today at the NTSB hearings.

The hearings have drawn unusually intense interest because of the Sept. 8 crash of USAir Flight 427 at Pittsburgh with loss of 132 lives, the fifth USAir crash in the last five years. Although safety experts say there is no obvious common thread between the two disasters, USAir's training and procedures are being scrutinized during the hearings.

Raising a Stink in New Delhi

The Washington Post

It's a stinking outrage, if you ask people in these parts.

India - land of 400 million cattle - is considering a proposal to import dung from the Netherlands to promote organic farming. Nothing has raised such a stink in the nation's capital in years.

"Let us not be put in the ridiculous position of becoming a dung-importing nation," declared Rajiv Vora of the New Delhi-based Gandhi Peace Foundation. "All I can say is that such a mind-set is full of dung."

Protesting dairy farmers took to the streets earlier this month with 11 bullock carts filled with cow manure destined for the front steps of the country's stately Parliament building. But police armed with bamboo sticks blocked the demonstrators from entering the city. When they dumped their loads at a major intersection, their protests could be smelled blocks away.

"About 15,000 tons of dung goes into the sewer every month in Delhi alone," said Mukhiya Gurjar, 26, president of the Delhi Dairy Union and owner of 150 cattle. "There is no shortfall of dung in our country, and there never will be."

In fact, the Indian government told Gurjar and other dairy farmers in February that their cattle were producing too much dung and ordered them and their owners to move out of the city. An estimated 100,000 cows - which are considered sacred by Hindus - and water buffaloes roam the streets, parks and back alleys of New Delhi.

But this is more than a debate over cow pies and road apples. It goes to the heart of some of the issues most deeply entrenched in the Indian psyche - matters of Gandhian national pride and self-sufficiency, as well as a deep distrust of Western cultures and their perceived excesses.